Militant transport group steers for change in historic assembly

ILOILO CityPagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) Iloilo key leaders clasped steering wheels with “change” slogan in their first ever assembly themed “Drivers and Operators Unite! Fight off PUJ Phaseout, Forward Toward Genuine Change” early morning today at the village of Bo. Obrero.

Established in Manila in the 80’s, Piston reached Iloilo in the 90’s.

Newly elected Piston Iloilo president Edgar Salarda raised high hopes on the renewed group in its campaign against phaseout and other issues affecting the transport sector.

“Our main drive is to stop phaseout,” Salarda said against the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) imminent plan of removal of PUJs aged 15 years old from date of registration with the Land Transportation Office.

Voluntary phaseout has started this year while full implementation is set on 2018. It will affect 90% of PUJ in Western Visayas according to an estimate by Piston Iloilo.

Genuine change, not drug war
Few days after the 100 days of President Rodrigo Duterte, Salarda lauded the president for programs on end of contractualization and peace talks. However, he indicated the lack of genuine change on the transport sector.

“We call on the President and DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade to scrap the phaseout program, and establish instead a steel industry that will manufacture PUJ machine and spare parts to support the transportation sector.”

Salarda also noted the big time price hike on fuel products days ago that will affect PUJ drivers and commuters alike, saying that government has to do something about the oil deregulation law.

He emphasized that pressing matters like oil deregulation law must be dealt in same way as the drug campaign and criticized the summary killings perpetrated by government police in its drug war.

Drug war in the Philippines records a death toll of 3,600, people shot by police numbered at 1,377 and 2,275 were mostly killed by vigilantes. (Contributed News |


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