President Rodrigo Duterte warned jeepney operators and drivers that he would arrest those who fail to comply with the government’s public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program by the end of the year.
“I’m giving you… until the end of the year, sumunod kayo kasi January 1, kapag may nakita ako na hindi na-rehistro, luma, guguyurin ko yan sa harap niyo.” Duterte said.
(I’m giving you until the end of the year, follow becasue when January comes, if I see an unregistered jeepneys, old ones, i will have it towed in front of you.)
“Aarestuhin ko talaga kayo, believe me… You give me now the reason to enforce the law.” He added.
(I will really arrest you, believe me, you give me now the reason to enforce the law.)
On the other hand, Duterte scolded the Pinagkaisahang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) for opposing the program even if old model jeepneys emit smoke that xould cause health risks.
The two-day transport strike urged the government to suspend classes nationwide and work in offices under the executive branch. Piston members also staged a two-day transport strike to express their opposition to the PUV modernization program – where they claimed that the program would result in fare hikes and would pose additional burden to transport operators.
However, Duterte still insisted that the modernization program would continue, he also accused the militant groups of using the issue and of being involved in “one big conspiracy.”
“You piston, you know that you are poisoning the people. 2030, one third of Filipinos, mostly die of lung cancer because you don’t want to fix your engines.” Duterte said.
He also pointed out that a lot of accidents involving PUVs are due to faulty brakes and are thus the consequence of the continued use of vehicles that may no longer be road-worthy.
Also Read: Advantages of Jeepney modernization program