DOLE ready to help PUJ drivers to be affected by modernization plan » Manila Bulletin News



By Samuel P. Medenilla

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is ready to give assistance to the drivers, who will be adversely affected by the government’s modernization program for public utility jeepneys (PUJ).

Activists and jeepney drivers hold banners during a jeepney transport strike held at Pier Area in Manila, October 17. (Czar Dancel)

Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod said the agency will provide the affected PUJ drivers with livelihood aid and skills training so they could put up their own business.

“Those who may want to open their tire shops, machine shops, repair shops, we will be ready to provide them assistance. They just have to come to us,” Maglunsod said.

Alternative employment opportunities will also be made available to the displaced PUJ drivers.

Under the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) modernization program, PUJs will be replaced with new vehicles, many of them electric-powered.

Transport and militant labor groups opposed the project, claiming many PUJ operators will not be able to afford the new model.

They alleged that this will result in the displacement of an estimated 650,000 drivers nationwide.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte earlier announced the government will start the enforcement of the new program by next year.

The LFTRB, however, later clarified that enforcement of the modernization program will depend on the completion of its ongoing route rationalization study.

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