Drivers, Operators to Protest PUJ Phaseout Plan

Jeepney drivers and operators are gearing up for a mass protest outside the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) head office in Mandaluyong City on April 4 to oppose the proposed plan to phase out older public utility jeepneys (PUJs) as part of the government’s modernization program.

A convenor of the No to Jeepney Phaseout Coalition said around 200,000 drivers are set to join the rally. The group has been protesting the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)’s plan to phase out jeepneys over 15 years and older despite the board’s assurance that the phaseout plan would not be implemented this year.

While previous transport strikes have been unsuccessful in completely crippling public transport, the slated protest could nonetheless burden the riding public.

Should the protest draw a huge number of participants, commuters will have to use alternate transport and brace themselves for localized traffic disruptions around the affected area, particularly along Ortigas Avenue.

Similar protests are likely to be mounted in other cities as the opposed phaseout plan is set to affect PUJs nationwide.

In anticipation of said protest, the government is likely to field in vehicles that would ferry stranded commuters to routes participating jeepneys usually ply.

Security measures are also likely to be put in place to avert possible unrest during the protest.

Motorists are also advised to make alternative travel plans to avoid being inconvenienced by the scheduled rally.