An organization of jeepney operators and drivers questioned the government’s public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization plan, saying it should be suspended amid the pandemic.

Transport authorities have opened 474 jeepney routes in Metro Manila, but the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) was slow in releasing the QR codes required prior to operating, said Mody Floranda, president of Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston).

“Nasa kalagayan pa rin ng paghihikahos ang mga drayber matapos ang halos mahigit isang taon na naka-lockdown. ‘Yung ating kabuhayan at pagseserbisyo sa mamamayan ay talagang sabi nga namin, said na yung lalagyan ng bigasan ng mga drayber at operator,” Floranda said during the “Tapatan Sa Aristocrat” forum on Monday.

Floranda said jeepney drivers didn’t receive cash aid except those listed under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) conditional cash transfer program. 

Liga ng Transportasyon at Opeytor sa Pilipinas President Orlando Marquez Sr. agreed with Floranda’s remarks about red tape and said the LTFRB should rethink work dissemination in their undermanned departments.

Floranda also called for an investigation into instances of LTFRB allegedly tampering with dates in permits to disqualify drivers from franchise renewal. Kelsey Telo