Unconsolidated traditional jeepneys defy ban, threaten to shutdown LTO 

Members of Manibela stage a protest in downtown Bacolod.*Ronnie Baldonado photo 

 Drivers and operators of traditional jeepneys that failed to meet the   deadline for the consolidation of franchises under the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program gathered at Araneta Street in Bacolod City  on Thursday, May 16,  to protest their impending arrests.

Rudy Catedral, president of the Bacolod Alliance for Commuters, Operators, and Drivers (BACOD)-Manibela, said 800 traditional jeepneys joined their protest in front of the old Bacolod airport and at the City Hall at Araneta Street. 

He said although the government deadline for unconsolidated traditional jeepneys to stop plying the streets was on May 15 they will defy the ban and continue to operate. 

If even just one of their members is arrested by the Land Transportation Office personnel they will shut down the LTO office in Purok Manayawsayaw, Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod, he said.

We will park all our 1,000 jeepneys around the LTO office so it cannot operate, Catedral said. 

Catedral said government should just allow them to rehabilitate their vehicles to have environmental friendly engines on their own and to continue to operate without having to consolidate under a cooperative or corporation 

 United Negros Drivers Operators Center members also held protest in various terminals in Bacolod City on Thursday. 

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board VI officer-in-charge, Salvador Altura, said   they will issue show cause orders to operators of about 4,000  traditional jeepneys in Western Visayas, including 1,500 in Bacolod,  who did not meet the April 30 consolidation deadline.

The orders will require them to show cause  why their franchises will not be cancelled and forfeited in favor of the government for not joining the modernization program, Altura said. 

He said jeepneys that did not consolidate who continue to operate will be considered colorums, which can now be impounded by LTO. 

Colorum means unregistered or unauthorized vehicles operating as public transportation vehicles. 

The LTFRB is attaching stickers to the about 1,500 traditional jeepneys in Bacolod that joined the consolidation program before the deadline so they can continue to operate, Altura also said.*

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