Anakbayan chides gov’t for promoting that jeepney phaseout is a progressive move » Manila Bulletin News

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By Chito Chavez

Progressive youth group Anakbayan has chided the government for promoting that the jeepney phaseout is a progressive move to improve the environment and promote public safety.

Members of the The Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (i-ACT) apprehends smoke-belching Public Utility Jeepneys along Commonwealth Ave. in Quezon City as they conduct the “Tanggal Usok, Tanggal Bulok” campaign of the Department of Transportation as part of the Transport Modernization Program of the government yesterday, January 8. (PHOTO/ ALVIN KASIBAN)

Members of the The Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (i-ACT) apprehend smoke-belching Public Utility Jeepneys along Commonwealth Ave. in Quezon City as they conduct the “Tanggal Usok, Tanggal Bulok” campaign of the Department of Transportation as part of the Transport Modernization Program of the government. (PHOTO/ ALVIN KASIBAN)

“There is nothing progressive about a program that will disadvantage poor drivers and hasten the corporate takeover of the transport sector,” Anakbayan secretary general Einstein Recedes stressed.

“Duterte and Tugade’s ‘Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok’ policy is a corrupt scheme to extort thousands of pesos from poor drivers in the guise of a ‘modernization’ program. Jeepney drivers, who hardly earn P1,000 a day, may face fines of up to P5,000 for a single violation. It is a thinly veiled attempt to force old jeepneys out of the streets,” he added.

However, Anakbayan is not opposed to an efficient mass transportation system that will solve the long-standing traffic crisis.

But Recedes said this is not possible “under the mercy of private corporations that are only after extracting profits from the riding public and more so under a government which resolutely declines to take a vital role in providing public services.”

“Anakbayan stands firmly with the jeepney drivers and the wider commuting public in the fight against jeepney phaseout and corporatization of public transport. Duterte and his cohorts in the transportation department can only expect more and bigger protests led by the youth against his anti-poor regime. The youth will again walk out of their classes on February 23 and take to the streets to fight for the democratic rights of the Filipino people and thwart Duterte’s dictatorial rule,” he added.

Recedes said President Duterte wants to get rid of old jeepneys in favor of the expensive e-jeepneys that will be built by big businessmen and corporations salivating to control the transport sector.

“This is all part of the administration’s agenda of handing over public services to the private sector to ensure the profit of local oligarchs and foreign capitalists,” the Anakbayan leader maintained.

Recedes said the commuters will also cough up more money because of the “modernization” program since they will be subjected to incessant fare hikes brought about by the corporate takeover of transport facilities.

He warned that the said fate of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) following their privatization will most likely be repeated not only in Metro Manila but all over the country as well.

Worse, he maintained, “the anti-poor policies of the government seems not contented in burdening the Filipino people with oil price hikes and impending fare increase due to the TRAIN Law.

Recedes said the government is hell-bent on privatizing public transport and robbing drivers of their livelihood and commuters of an affordable mode of transportation.”

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