PISTON to hold nationwide transport strike from April 29 to May 1

The transportation advocacy group PISTON is gearing up for a nationwide strike spanning three days, slated to commence from April 29 until May 1. This action coincides with the looming "final" deadline of April 30 for jeepneys to undergo consolidation.

During the Pandesal Forum held in Quezon City on Saturday, April 27, PISTON's deputy secretary general, Ruben Baylon, articulated that drivers and operators are rallying in defense of their livelihoods. They harbor skepticism regarding the purported benefits of the consolidation of public utility vehicle (PUV) operators, a prerequisite under the government's PUV Modernization Program. PISTON has staged multiple strikes previously in pursuit of their cause.


Under the program, jeepneys and UV Express units are mandated by the government to form or join cooperatives or corporations to continue their operations. Despite multiple deadline extensions, the "final" extension, as declared by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., is set for April 30.

PISTON, alongside other concerned groups, has voiced opposition to industry consolidation, expressing apprehensions that it could pave the way for monopolization of public transportation by big businesses and entities.

During the Saturday forum, former Bayan Muna representative Ferdinand Gaite affirmed that labor groups will stand in solidarity with transportation workers on May 1, Labor Day.

In Metro Manila, various labor organizations have already outlined plans to stage rallies advocating for workers' rights, including ongoing efforts to secure higher wages.

Following the April 30 deadline, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has announced intentions to revoke the franchises of individual operators who fail to undergo consolidation. Consequently, only consolidated units will be permitted to operate along designated routes in Metro Manila.

LTFRB Chair Teofilo Guadiz III disclosed in March that approximately 80% of PUVs have successfully undergone consolidation.

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