Despite raps, Piston set another jeepney strike


LD (left, traditional jeepney) vs new (right, LPG jeepney): LPG power makes the jeepney cleaner and more fuel-efficient. But can operators be convinced?

Even with its leader already facing a complaint, the militant transport group Piston is gearing up for another nationwide strike on Oct. 16 and 17 to protest the government plan to replace aging jeepneys with environment-friendly models.

The planned “transport holiday” will be Piston’s third this year and is set two weeks after another group held a strike over the same issue.

Piston president George San Mateo on Monday said they would continue staging mass actions on behalf of jeepney drivers and operators who would lose their livelihood under the “modernization program” being rolled out by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

Electric, hybrid models

Under the program, current jeepney operators are given three years to replace their units with either electric or hybrid vehicles, or models that have passed Euro-4 emission standards.

Since these new units can cost up to P1.6 million each, the government has set up various loan facilities to assist operators in the transition.

San Mateo warned that the upgrade could also lead to higher fares.

The LTFRB recently sued the Piston leader for violating the Public Service Act when the group held a strike that paralyzed jeepney operations in some areas in February. –By: Jovic Yee

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