By KRIS BAYOS
Militant operators of public utility jeepneys (PUJs) who did not ply their routes Monday will be made liable for paralyzing public transportation in the City of Manila, according to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
LTFRB chairman Atty. Winston Ginez said they would summon Zeny Maranan of the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (FEJODAP) and compel her to explain why her group should not be penalized for holding a transport strike that affected thousands of commuters early this week.
“They are in violation of their franchise. We will call Zeny Maranan to a conference in our office next week,” he said.
It was reported that FEJODAP members ditched a day in the streets to hold a demonstration and publicly criticize the traffic law enforcers who allegedly coerce money from PUJ operators through traffic violation citations.
Normally, operators who participate in transport strikes are penalized for refusing to convey passengers, which is considered a violation of the terms of their certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) or their franchise to operate public utility vehicles (PUV).
Furthermore, participating in a transport strike by not deploying their PUV units to ply their routes is one of the violations of the public transport franchise, according to the Public Service Act.
Penalties for violators can range from suspension of their franchise for six to 12 months to outright cancellation.
The Philippine Corinthian Bus Lines is one of the biggest PUV companies whose franchise was cancelled for its participation in a November 15, 2010 transport strike against the implementation of the number-coding scheme for Metro Manila buses. The franchise of all of the 104 bus units of the company was revoked while franchise of other parties was suspended from six to 12 months.