By ROGYN BEYAO
TABUK CITY, Kalinga — The Kalinga Federation of Transport Operators and Drivers Association (KaFeTODA) was successfully launched last September 29, 2018 at the people’s gymnasium in Dagupan Centro.
On the theme: “Agkaykaysa laban iti mananglipit ken manangallilaw a patakaran ti DoTr D.O. 2017-011 wenno ti Omnibus Franchising Guidelines. Buklen ti pederasion a mangsalaknib ken mangitandudo iti karbengan ken kabiagan dagiti drayber ken opereytor” summarizes the one day activity. Attendees were from various transport association including commuters.
Prior to the launching, the group had motorcade along town centre to inform the public of their concern regarding the Department Order 2017-011 otherwise known as the ‘Omnibus Guidelines on the Planning and Identification Services and Franchise Issuance’ of the Department of Transportation (DoTr) that will adversely affect their livelihood as operators and drivers. Commuters from the peasant sector joined the motorcade in solidarity with the transport group.
The group also lobbied with the city council of Tabuk and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Kalinga for their support. As a response, the city council endorsed the position letter of KaFeTODA to the Regional office of DoTr through resolution no. 092 series of 2018. The resolution reads “this sanggunian regrets that it cannot favorably act on the request on KaFeTODA believing that matters involving particularly the franchising of jeepneys are beyond the regulatory powers vested by law in local government unit”. It is also understood that the city local government unit is part of the implementation of the PUV modernization program of the Duterte administration specifically the route rationalization program.
The position paper was also presented to the Kalinga- Apayao Religious Sectors Association (KARSA) expecting their support.
It is for the same reason that different operators and drivers association in the city decided to organize themselves through federation. They believe that the broader the alliance, the stronger they are to confront the agencies involved in the public utility vehicles (PUV) phase out.
Some provincial legislators during the inquiry also encourage them to federate themselves to gather wider support and that they should affiliate with regional and national transport associations, the likes of Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (PISTON).
An input on the PUV modernization program was presented by Tony Baggay from the PISTON, basically the presentation was the critic of the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (PISTON) on the department order. “After scrutinizing the department order of DoTr the purpose is not to uplift the condition of the transport group but mainly to feed the corporate world of capitalists. The livelihood of the transport group will be at stake if the present administration through the DoTR will fully implement the program without considering the plight of the small operators and drivers association.”
“Walang ibang tunguhin ang PUV modernization program na ito ng gobyerno kundi korporatisasyon at monopolisasyon. Ibig sabihin, yung mga elitistang may pera lamang ang makikinabang sa programang ito. Tulak din ito ng neoliberal na programa ng Duterte administration na kung saan nakapakete ang liberalisasyon at pribatisasyon na lalong magpapahirap sa mamamayang Pilipino lalo na ang transport sector.”
“We are now facing a serious threat against our livelihood. It is now a challenge for us to strengthen and widen our federation and gather more support from different alliances to explain and let them understand our issues, this struggle is theirs too.”Either we bow down to the program and keep quiet or make a stand and fight!” was the challenge left by the speaker.
As disclosed by the KaFeTODA in its earlier statement, “the government plans to modernize the transport sector which will slaughter their means of livelihood and greatly impoverish their lives. As further stated, they can’t afford the amount of the proposed electric and solar powered jeeps as the price per unit is more than 1 million pesos. Therefore it is but right to organize and unite to fight for our rights” the statement read.
The founding officers of KaFeTODA were elected after the discussion of its Constitution and By Laws (CBL) and and was chaired by Mr. Roland Kimmayong. General program of actions for the year 2018-2019 was also discussed and approved by the assembly.
Statement of support from regional and provincial organizations was also delivered during the assembly. Program was formally adjourned after the closing message of the newly elected chairperson. Encouraging its co operators and drivers to earnestly organize and educate more so that public will be aware of their issues. # nordis.net