By LITO RULONA
THE Solidarity of Transport Alliance in Northern Mindanao-Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide has launched a silent protest in opposition to Land Transportation Office’s “Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok” program.
Ringo Lago, Starex-Piston’s leader in Northern Mindanao, said the silent protest yesterday is their way of their opposition to the program which they called as an overt attempt to phase out jeepneys, nationwide.
Lago also said after Metro Manila, the next target is Cagayan de Oro city and other key cities in Northern Mindanao.
“Silent protest lang among gihimo. Permi man kami nga support sa environmental program pero ila gyud gina-push ilang program sa phaseout. Gahimo lamang sila og transition period sa ilang ginapatuman nga phaseout,” he said.
He said the “Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok” program is the kick-off program of the present administration in introducing other forms of vehicle.
But LTO-10 Regional Director Oscar Salcedo said the implementation of the program is being pushed to ensure that public utility vehicles were up to standards.
“Wala pa namo gi-implement dinhi. But we are encouraging jeepney operators to repair their jeepney for road worthiness. Gihatagan pa namo sila og usa ka tuig,” he added.
Salcedo said they are awaiting smoke-belching machines coming from Metro Manila central office to do the road worthiness checking.
“Naa kita’y standard nga gasundon. The process is to give warning to all apprehended vehicles for immediate smoke-belching repair. Sila na mismo ang mangunay og repair og ayaw na paghulat nga madakpan. Ang balaod gihimo alang sa tanan og maayo kini nga programa,” he said.
But Lago said DOTR have already impounded some 5,000 public utility vehicles, and buses under the Inter-Agency Council of Traffic.
“Bisan gamay lamang buslot impound dayun sila. This is a composite team of DENR, LTO, and LTFRB. Grabe ang dakop bisan dunay three year transition period pero gipangwartahan ang mga operator and driver karon,” he said.