Jeepney drivers fed up with gov’t discriminatory policies; files a case at SC  

Balik Pasada is the widespread plea of jeepney drivers who are still not allowed to travel until now.
Even though some public transportation has been allowed to return to the quarantine guidelines, it seems that the few hundred thousand drivers were still left behind hoping that their grievance will be given attention to their grievance to return.
It will reach 600,000 public utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers and 300,000 operators are affected since suspending their travel caused by pandemic.
“Jeepney drivers are done with the state’s discriminatory policies and are now taking their fight for justice to court,” shared members and leaders of National Confederation of Transportworkers Union (NCTU-SENTRO) and the Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services, Inc. (IDEALS, Inc.)
Officers and members of  the National Confederation of Transportworkers Union (NCTU) will file a petition in the Supreme Court on September 29 to question the State’s issuances regarding traditional jeepney regulations during the community quarantine.

The petition will cite the LTFRB and other state agencies’ unjust and unsubstantiated suspension of Public Utility Jeepneys (PUJs) even after the quarantine was eased and other Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) were allowed back on road. 

The drivers also call to attention the government’s evident preference in modernized jeepneys, despite no evidence of its substantial distinction over traditional jeepneys when it comes to passenger safety from the virus. 

Moreover, the petition seeks to question the power of the IATF, DOTr, and LTFRB to unilaterally and indefinitely suspend public transportation. Regardless, their issuances have so far shown an utter disregard for the jeepney drivers’ right to work, and right to experience an adequate standard of living.

“Certainly, the state has failed in its duty to help protect and value the rights and dignity of every Filipino,” said IDEALS.

While the jeepney drivers have been vocal about their demands for fair treatment in the past months, their call has been largely ignored by the government. With this petition, they are hoping to finally claim justice.

The groups said that studies of various experts including International Association of Public Transport, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and other institutions have showed that open-air vehicles like jeepney are safer to use pandemic.

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