ILOILO CITY – Various transport groups in Iloilo City filed a complaint in the Department of Transportation (DOTR) over the unfair treatment experienced by Public Utility Jeepney Drivers and Operators in relation to the pay-out of the city’s libre sakay program.
The drivers said they were surprised that the Vallacar Transit, Inc. (Ceres buses) had already been allowed to ply for the city’s libre sakay program, who also competed with them. Drivers also complained that the pay-out of large companies like VTI was given priority compared to small drivers like them.
For Piston Panay, since the start of lockdown, the government’s negligence and incompetence has caused difficulties for small operators and drivers. The group further said that it has been two years already since the drivers face the health crisis but the PUJ drivers have not yet recovered.
The group added that the government’s libre sakay program is deceptive as it is only used to phase out the traditional PUJs, and to favor and support the business of corporatized transport cooperatives.
For PISTON, if DOTR and LTFRB 6 have the capacity to provide a budget for modernized buses owned by large companies, they should also set a budget for small operators and drivers to continue their service.
Finally, PISTON calls for the development of technology and industries for the creation of a public mode of transportation, which is owned and operated by the government and not by large companies like VTI and others./PT