Made in China air-conditioned modern jeeps that have been endorsed by the government have been involved in several accidents, a local jeepney driver association said Thursday.
Among these accidents were a jeepney that burst into flames on Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City, and another which overturned, said Efren De Luna, president of the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO).
The said fuel-efficient jeep is worth P2.5 million. Some local manufacturers can make similar modern jeeps at just half the price, De Luna said.
“Kung sakaling dito gagawin sa atin iyan, kayang-kaya naman ng mga manufacturer natin iyan at mura pa ang halaga, sumunod naman tayo sa standard, maraming po ang magkakaroon ng pagkakataon na mga walang hanapbuhay dito sa atin,” he said in an interview with TeleRadyo.
(If they would be manufactured here, our manufacturers could make them for a much lower price. We are following the standard. Many would have an opportunity to work.)
Traditional jeepneys were not able to resume operations since March due to lockdowns to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Following the easing of such lockdowns, only “roadworthy” traditional jeepneys could travel to Metro Manila beginning Friday, according to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
However, to resume operations, De Luna said the jeepney drivers needed to submit an affidavit that they agree to surrender their franchise and build a corporation in December to comply with the government’s public utility vehicle modernization plan.
“Anong alam namin sa korporasyon?” said the transport leader.
(What do we know about a corporation?)
“Ang katayuan natin parang ABS-CBN saka iyong tradisyunal jeepney. Para bang hinahanapan tayo ng butas paano tayo mawala nang tuluyan,” he added.
(Our status is the same with ABS-CBN and traditional jeepney. It is as if they keep on looking for loopholes to make us disappear forever.)
Congress is currently conducting hearings on ABS-CBN Corp’s application for another franchise. It’s been almost two months since the government shut down the free TV and radio broadcast network.