We at AGHAM – Advocates of Science and Technology for the People slam the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (i-ACT) for blindly and prematurely implementing its jeepney phaseout scheme despite offering no clear alternatives both for jeepney drivers and commuters.

Scores of commuters along the University of the Philippines Diliman were stranded today when officers from i-ACT took its “Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok” program to the area, ordering jeepney drivers entering the university to stop operations until their jeepney units are approved under the i-ACT’s  improportionally high standards. The clearing operation of i-ACT was stopped when students, drivers, and other commuters immediately responded through a protest along the University Avenue.

The said program has already burdened thousands of commuters and vehicles, mostly jeepneys, after coming into force early last month. It has since expanded its scope from the National Capital Region to nearby provinces such as Bulacan, Cavite, and Rizal.

We denounce the “Tanggal Usok, Tanggal Bulok” scheme as an impetuous program part of the calibrated jeepney phaseout being done through license confiscation, forced self-impoundment by threats, and actual impoundment. It not only passes the burden to jeepney drivers but more so robs commuters of their only means of moving from their homes to their workplace or schools.

Instead of the said scheme, the government’s sudden concern on the road-worthiness of public utility vehicles could be pursued by providing subsidies to drivers and operators to assist them in rehabilitating their dilapidated units. Alternative programs such as ‘palit-jeep’ where the government replaces old units at minimal or no cost to drivers can also be undertaken.

We reiterate our stand against the current PUV Modernization Program as an anti-people, pro-corporation program that will bring no benefit either to the drivers or the commuting public. Modernization should be pursued on the basis of a pro-people and pro-environment standpoint, taking into consideration how it will affect drivers, commuters, and the general public.

Transportation is a public utility crucial in facilitating the people’s daily activities. It is a key component in setting up multiple linkages in a dynamic and industrial economy. We call on the government to pursue a genuine mass transportation program anchored on the principle of providing affordable, safe, reliable, efficient, and clean transport services as a public utility.#​


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