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Major transport groups assured the public of their non-participation in the transport strike that would be staged by the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) on October 16 and 17 in protest to the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program.

The Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (FEJODAP), Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO), Liga ng Transportasyon at Operators sa Pilipinas (LTOP), Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (ALTODAP) and Pangkalahatang Sanggunian Manila and Suburbs Drivers Association (PASANG MASDA) denied PISTON’s claims that they support the jeepney strike and would paralyze public transportation nationwide.

The transport groups said the PUV modernization program seeks to overhaul the public transportation system to meet safety, energy efficiency, and emission standards in order to enhance commuter convenience.

“We will not be joining the transport strike. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has assured to us that there will be no phaseout of jeepneys. The PUV Modernization only wants to ensure the security of passengers and to have an environmentally sustainable mode of transportation,” ACTO President Efren de Luna said in a press conference held Wednesday in Quezon City.

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The transport groups appealed to PISTON to support the PUV Modernization Program and come up with alternative policies that would address their concerns.

“We are asking the jeepney groups to support the government in modernizing the public transportation system in the country,” according to LTOP President Orlando Marquez.

Under the PUV Modernization Program, jeepney units that are 15 years old will be replaced with Euro 4 engines or electrically-powered engines with solar panels for roofs. These will also be equipped with closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, a GPS navigation system, an Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS), speed limiters, dashboard cameras, and Wi-Fi.

Local manufacturers will present the prototype design of the modern jeepneys based on the Philippine National Standard set by the Bureau of Product Standards of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on October 12. (PNA)

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