Week-long, nationwide transport strike will run from March 6 until March 12

The commuting public will have to find alternative means to get to and from their homes and places of work next week. This comes after several transport groups announced that they will be holding a week-long strike that will affect both traditional public utility jeepneys (PUJ) and UV Express vans.

Next week's transport strike comes after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced that June 30, 2023, will be the last day for traditional jeepney operators and UV Express vans. Originally, the deadline was set for March 31, 2023, but the LTFRB decided to extend the deadline until the end of June this year.

The deadline is part of the government Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) in which operators that fail to meet the necessary requirements would have their franchises or certificates of public convenience revoked. The LTFRB also mentioned that the deadline has already been moved several times in order to help PUV operators cope with soaring costs and the after-effects of the pandemic.

Smoke-belching PUJs, UV Express to hold week-long strike image

Unfortunately, the operators of both traditional PUJs and UV Express vans were dismayed with the LTFRB's decision, stating that the PUVMP is anti-poor as it will require them to purchase expensive modern jeepneys. The LTFRB, however, said that affected operators may still avail of the government's incentives program.

Instead of finding ways to comply, the transport groups affected by the upcoming deadline decided on another course of action via a nationwide, week-long strike that will start on March 6, 2023, and until March 12, 2023. Representatives from Manibela, Laban TNVS, and PISTON officially declared their intention yesterday, opposing the LTFRB's June 30 deadline.

Smoke-belching PUJs, UV Express to hold week-long strike image

They also appealed to the government to give them 5 more years in order to meet the aforementioned requirements and consolidation rules, as well as preserve the traditional jeepney look while also upgrading it. The transport groups said that should the LTFRB not heed their appeal to move the said deadline, they will elevate the case to the Supreme Court and seek a temporary restraining order (TRO).

With the nationwide, week-long strike set to happen on March 6, the commuters will likely have a hard time getting a ride if all PUJs and UV Express vans join the said transport strike. To assist affected commuters, the LTFRB said that they will use their own resources to address the upcoming transport strike. Moreover, the MMDA and local LGUs may also field their own PUVs for the meantime during the transport strike.