Lumamig na ulo: Duterte open to hold dialogue with transport groups – Palace

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A day after President Duterte threatened to phase out old jeepneys by January, Malacañang expressed its willingness to sit down with the transport groups.

“Government is open to more healthy dialogue, discussion and responsible engagements with transport groups that wish to learn and contribute to the development of the PUV (Public Utility Vehicle) Modernization Program,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Wednesday.

Abella made it clear, however, that the government will not make any compromise with the transport sector if “public good is at stake.”

He reiterated that the brand new and eco-friendly PUVs would benefit “everybody,” including drivers, operators, and commuters.

“This is a wide window of opportunity for everyone — drivers, the operators, the riding public. The public needs to discern that some ideological influences can derail the greater good. Let us move forward towards the comfortable life that PRRD is fighting for,” he added.

Duterte earlier chided transport groups after holding a two-day strike, which prompted Malacañang to suspend work and classes nationwide.

Despite defiance, the President said the modernization will push through warning drivers that they will be arrested if they fail to modernize their jeepneys next year.

“I’ll give you until the end of the month or until the end of the year. Sumunod kayo because January 1 ‘pag may makita ako diyan mga jeep ninyo na walang rehistro, hindi narehistro, luma, guguyurin ko ‘yan sa harap ninyo,” he said.

He said old and dilapidated jeepneys are causing a lot of pollution, which pose detrimental health risks to people.