22 October 2017
Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday called on concerned government agencies to allow drivers, operators, and the riding public to be represented in discussions over jeepney modernization.
VP Leni noted that while it is favorable to improve the system, the government must take into consideration that many of those who will be affected under the proposed modernization are solo or small-time drivers and operators, who may find it difficult to comply with the new system.
An inclusive discussion also allows these sectors to understand the need for these changes, she added.
“Baka mas mabuti na may umuupo talaga [mula sa mga sektor na ito during consultation], para alam mo iyong umuupo, nakikita niya din kung bakit ganito iyong desisyon ng gobyerno,” she said in her weekly radio program, BISErbisyong LENI, on RMN-DZXL 558.
“Parang it can work both ways: makikita niyo iyong pakiramdam ng mga maaapektuhan [na drivers and operators]. Pati nga riding public, tingin ko dapat may umuupo. Isang operator-owner, isang driver, isang representative ng riding public,” she added. “Mas mabuti nang tinitingnan iyong lahat ng anggulo.”
VP Leni made the suggestion to Mr. Pedro Defensor Jr., acting director of the Institutional Development Department, of the Cooperative Development Authority, who said that driver-operator groups do not sit in the technical working group for this endeavor.
According to Mr. Defensor, the TWG is currently composed of concerned government agencies.
However, he added: “Pero under the process of the PUV Modernization Program, under the consolidation process, there is one rule: there must be a consultation to the affected drivers, operators, and everything. Ibig sabihin, lahat bababaan.”
Defensor added that drivers and operators will be given a “menu” of options, including alternative lines of work.
For her part, VP Leni noted that the plans should be polished already before even imposing a deadline for drivers and operators to comply.
“Kasi kung magmo-modernize, pero hindi pa naman handa iyong mga scheme na ino-offer ng gobyerno, hindi pa klaro. Kung kailangang mag-cooperative, it will take time bago ihanda iyong mga drivers,” she said.
“Ang isang parang pangamba ng karamihan parang ever since kasi never silang nakisali sa isang grupo. Tingin ko, parang normal na pakiramdam na dahil hindi mo pa naranasang sumali sa kooperatiba, mayroon kang agam-agam kung sasali ka o hindi, lalo na kasi marami din iyong mga kooperatiba na nalulugi. So paano natin iaassure na para sa kabutihan nila?” she added.