Press Release
February 28, 2023

February 28, 2023

Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, before I read my manifestation, I just would like to encourage the Chairman of Public Services na sana during her investigation into this issue, ma-establish natin 'yung sinasabi ni Senator, Majority Leader, na may mafia na nasa likuran nito. Kawawa naman 'yung maliliit na driver natin na mahirap na nga, ma-mafia-hin pa ng sarili niyang gobyerno. Kung totoo itong may mafia, dapat malaman natin ito't tulungan natin itong maimbestigahan para malaman kasi there seems to be a scheme, a scheme of everything. Magpamiyembro ka muna ng kooperatiba, then pagkatapos mamiyembro, hindi ka magiging miyembro kapag walang... hindi ka mag-procure nu'ng jeep na modernized jeep. So sana ma-establish natin ito, kung sino itong mga mafia na ito.

And, Mr. President, I stand before you today to join this August Chamber in calling the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to defer the scheduled phase out of all traditional jeepneys by June 30, 2023.

The Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the LTFRB has the most notable intention, and that is to provide a safe, convenient, contemporary and state of the art public transportation system. We, in the Government, are doing our best to provide the riding public a hassle - free public transportation experience.

However, we should be realistic in fulfilling this dream, and acknowledge the difficulties that lie ahead.

Ginoong Pangulo, kaisa po ninyo ako sa paghangad ng modernong pamamaraan at palakad ng pampublikong transportasyon. Ngunit kailangan natin isaalang-alang ang limitasyon at hirap na hinaharap ng mga drayber ng mga traditional na jeepney na namayagpag sa ating mga daan sa maraming dekada na nakalipas.

Traditional jeepneys, otherwise known as the King of the Roads, have been the significant symbol of our busy streets in Manila. Even in the provinces, the sights of these iconic public utility vehicles provide the needed help in transporting the commuters to their respective work places, and to reach their families back home after a day's work.

Sa kagustuhan natin na mabigyan ng modernong mukha ang ating jeepneys sa lansangan, naisip ba natin ang magugugol na halaga ng mga drivers, operators, at maging mga local manufacturers para maisakatuparan ang tinakdang programa ng DOTr at LTFRB para sa modernisasyon ng pampublikong sasakyan?

We, in the Senate, are not insensitive to the plight of our drivers, operators, and local manufacturers. With the economic crisis brought by the pandemic, the transportation sector suffered much from the economic losses brought by Covid-19. With this in mind, utmost consideration, therefore, should be the burden that we pass on to our partners in the public transportation sector.

Hence, I add my voice in appealing to the LTFRB to give more time to carry out the phase out of our traditional jeepneys. Today, more than ever, our compassionate hearts should speak louder than the call of modernization.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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