Manila, Philippines – Anakpawis party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao urges the Duterte gov’t not to drive away the support of tens of thousands of jeepney drivers and small operators who have trusted his leadership by implementing a corporate-backed jeepney modernization program.
“Jeepney drivers under the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) that led a two-day transport strike is not against the modernization jeepney program, what they are against is the seemingly private take-over of business group in the jeepney upgrade program of the government”, said Casilao.
He also said that the corporate-led PUV modernization is nothing but a money-making racket which legitimizes the displacement of thousands of ordinary drivers and small operators.
Despite the rosy presentation of the transport dep’t and some pro-PUV modernization groups, there’s no concrete assurance that it will lift the lives of the drivers. Casilao questioned the hefty price of a modern jeep which reports said ranging from P1.4M to P1.6M. “With a measly subsidy of P80,000, there’s no way the drivers can finish the payment for seven years,” he said.
Moreover, Casilao also crticized the latest slur of the president against the protesting drivers saying that it shows his true color and no differ from his predecessor for being anti-poor. We condemn Pres. Duterte’s red baiting, tongue lashing and insult-inducing tirades against Piston and their supporters as the height of his hypocrisy. Blaming the poor for bieng poor is clearly a statement only comes from a leader that doesn’t care to the welfare of the underprivileged. A self-confessed left and a socialist, he is proud insulting the poor thus it is highly contrasted of his claim.
“With his latest insulting remarks, the gov’t should not be surprise if many poor and underprivileged which includes the drivers will go against Duterte’s oppressive and repressive economic program such the PUV modernization. He is in fact, driving away his poor supporters. If he will push his threat of implementing the corporate-backed PUV modernization, he will face bigger protest and condemnation”, Casilao concluded. ###