Pangasinan, Philippines – The Alliance of United Transport Operators Provincewide Pangasinan (AUTOPRO) is set to hold consultations with transport group leaders in Pangasinan on March 3, to discuss the possibility of a mass transport strike in response to the phase-out of UV Express and traditional jeepneys. This is in support of the National Public Transport Coalition’s call for a nationwide strike.
AUTOPRO President, Bernard Tuliao, stated that they are studying the proposal for a mass strike but have not yet made a final decision. They are currently weighing the pros and cons of the move and considering the impact on the economy, commuters, and students.
Tuliao added that they do not want to paralyze the province, but this is their last resort to make the government aware of the effects of removing traditional jeepneys from the roads, especially since they cannot afford the high prices of modernized jeepneys. Nearly 90% of the transport sector in the province is made up of cooperatives, which they must consider before organizing a strike as they risk losing their franchises.
Currently, there are approximately 3,000 traditional jeepneys in the province that could potentially be phased-out. Tuliao suggests that instead of completely eliminating traditional jeepneys, they should undergo rehabilitation and be modernized according to the standards set by the Department of Trade and Industry and the Philippine National Standard to avoid incurring too much debt.