Sen. Grace Poe called the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) phaseout order for traditional jeepneys inhumane as she along with her fellow senators called for the postponement of the jeepney phaseout on June 30.

“To enforce a deadline is not only insanity, but also inhumane. Hindi makatao. It is contrary to the Constitutional directive to promote social justice in all phases of national development,” Poe said in a privilege speech. 

“It is also contrary to [the] public welfare, as it will compound the acute shortage of public transportation modes in the country. Tignan na lamang natin ang mga pila tuwing rush hour. Naghahabulan,” she added.

Last week, Poe filed a resolution urging the LTFRB to postpone the June 30 phaseout. All senators were made co-authors of her resolution which was immediately adopted in the Senate’s plenary session.

The Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program mandated that existing jeepney operators should consolidate and create fleets of 15 modern jeepneys that will use the routes created by local government units.

A modern jeepney is about P2.8 million, and Poe said that jeepney drivers do not have the means to purchase them.

“The most recent study estimates that their average daily take home pay is a meager P755,” she said.

Poe explained that a route rationalization is a requirement under the PUV Modernization Program, however, the Department of Transportation has yet to carry it out. 

Various transport groups said they will stage a weeklong transport strike starting March 6 to protest the looming jeepney phaseout.

Ronald Espartinez