Vico Sotto explains why public should understand reason behind jeepney strike

March 7, 2023 - 4:43 PM
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Vico Sotto_July 2021
Vico Sotto speaking from a podium in this photo from his Facebook page on July 22, 2021. (Facebook/Vico Sotto)

“Mas maganda kung maintidihan natin kung saan nagkaka-problema.”

Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto expressed this in agreement with a transport advocate’s video explaining the reasons behind the week-long transport strike.

Thousands of jeepney drivers across the country are holding a transport strike from March 6 to 12 to express their position on the planned public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP).

Prior to this event, transport advocate Reycel Hyacenth Nacario Bendaña, also a daughter of a jeepney driver, shared a series of videos on social media to explain the reasons behind their protests.

In her video explainer, Bendaña emphasized the transport groups’ call for a “just transition” to modernization instead of a total phase-out of their PUVs.

“Hindi po kami tutol sa modernisasyon, ngunit nananawagan po kami ng plano na hindi kami maiiwan,” she said in one of the videos.

Sotto reacted to this tweet on March 6.

In a quote retweet, the Pasig City mayor weighed in on his views about the issue of modernization.

“Naghanda ang LGU sa strike, Pero higit sa pagsundo sa mga stranded at sa pagsuspindi ng klase, mas maganda kung maintidihan natin kung saan nagkaka problema,” Sotto said.

“Mahalaga ang PUV modernization at karamihan sa mga nakakausap kong JODA [Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association]ay pabor dito, basta’t maayos ang programa,” he added.

Bendaña, also a valedictorian from Ateneo de Manila University Class of 2019, later saw Sotto’s reaction to her video explainer.

She replied to him with: “Salamat sa pakikiisa, mars!”

In her video about the transport strike, Bendaña also put forth transport workers’ call on the government to shoulder some of the costs. Reports said that each modern jeepney costs up to P2.8 million.

READ:‘Modernisasyon, hindi phase-out’: The battlecry of jeepney drivers, operators 

Pasig City, meanwhile, has deployed service vehicles that offer free rides for affected commuters on the following routes:

  • Pasig Mega Market to Shaw Boulevard (Vice Versa)
  • Pasig Mega Market to Ligaya via Dr. Sixto Antonio Ave. (Vice Versa)
  • Pasig Mega Market to Kalawaan to San Joaquin to Pasig Mega Market (Loop)
  • Pasig Mega Market to Ligaya via C. Raymundo Ave. (Vice Versa)
  • Pasig Mega Market to Dr. Sixto Antonio Ave. to Rosario to C. Raymundo Ave. to Pasig Mega Market (Loop)

The House of Representatives, the Palace and other government agencies also took part in deploying vehicles to ferry stranded passengers in different parts of Metro Manila throughout the week.

RELATED: ‘Biyaheng looban?’ Manila City Jail’s free rides during transport strike earns buzz 

The EDSA Busway System, on the other hand, is not affected by these events. Carousel buses continue to offer rides to passengers at fixed rates along EDSA.