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Urgent call for solidarity with informal transport workers in the Philippines

31 Jan 2024

Our demands for a progressive public mass transport system

For decades, jeepneys have been serving as an affordable, last-mile public transport in the Philippines. Nearly 40 million passengers, mostly students, and workers, rely on jeepneys daily to reach their homes, schools, work, public services, and leisure places.

The Philippines Government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) policy aims to reduce road carbon emissions from Jeepneys however, without a worker-led just transition, this could lead to thousands of informal workers losing their jobs. The collective carbon footprint of all jeepneys pales in comparison to the emissions generated by over 1.27 million private vehicles in the country, not to mention the gravity of climate and environmental destruction being caused by local and multinational corporations that are yet to be held accountable. Informal workers must not pay the costs as governments try to reduce carbon emissions.

There must be public finance investment in the rehabilitation of old vehicles to ensure small jeepney operators and drivers can continue to work. This program must place workers at the forefront rather than benefit multinational corporations, big transport corporations, banks, and corrupt officials.

According to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), 1,948 routes nationwide have yet to comply with the franchise consolidation requirement. In Metro Manila alone, the densest urban center of the Philippines, there are still around 503 public utility vehicle routes that are yet to comply. We won’t be able to achieve a sustainable public transport without the support of these workers and unions.

We advocate and demand for a progressive public mass transport that ensures a pro-people, worker-led just transition, generates jobs, and supports local industrialization to meet the public’s need for efficient, safe, sustainable, and affordable public transport.

1. Ensure the roadworthiness and sustainability of public transport vehicles through a pro-people, worker-led just transition program that provides public finance. .

2. Support domestic small manufacturers of public transport vehicles to generate decent local employment and reduce the cost of upgrading from old vehicles, instead of favoring imported vehicles supplied by multinational manufacturers. To reduce the cost of new locally produced vehicles, public funds should also be allocated to support the local industry.

3. Uphold the rights of informal public transport workers and reject the corporate takeover of vital public transport. Engage with workers and unions to find a solution to the issue of franchise consolidation requirements.


In partnership with PISTON union - the Philippines

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