PISTON asks SC to stop Dec. 31 franchise consolidation deadline
PISTON asks SC to stop Dec. 31 franchise consolidation deadline
PISTON asks SC to stop Dec. 31 franchise consolidation deadline
by Ellicia Del Mundo21 December 2023
Photo courtesy: RH Boy Gonzales

Transport group Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) on Wednesday, Dec. 20, filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against government issuances that require drivers and operators to comply with the Dec. 31 franchise consolidation deadline.

PISTON National President Mody Floranda led the filing along with their legal counsels, former Bayan Muna Reps. Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate.

In a press release published on its official website, PISTON said it asked the higher court to release a TRO against the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Department of Transportation (DOTr) "issuances mandating franchise consolidation and its December 31, 2023 deadline" under the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program.

The transport group said it argued that the mandated consolidation was "unconstitutional" as this "infringes on the constitutional right to freedom of association."


“The constitutionally guaranteed freedom of association includes the freedom not to associate. The Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) requires operators to consolidate their individual franchises into a single franchise under a cooperative or corporation. The right to freedom of association does not include the right to compel others to form or join an association," it said.

Based on the transport group's data, an estimated 140,000 drivers and 60,000 small operators could lose their jobs once the Dec. 31 pushes through, affecting approximately 28.5 million commuters across the country.

Interviewed during DZRH Magandang Umaga Pilipinas on Thursday, Dec. 31, Floranda said fellow transport group MANIBELA would manifest support to their petition.

"Sa bahagi namin, mayroon pong apat na local association at kasama pa dito ang grupo ng mga commuter sa ilalim ng PARA. Kahapon, kasama rin natin si MANIBELA, magfa-file rin siya ng support," he said.


The PISTON National President hoped that the LTFRB and DOTr would restudy the mandated franchise consolidation.

"Kasi kapag hindi tayo pinayagan mag-renew ng ating prangkisa, eh hindi lamang sektor ng transportasyon ang maapektuhan kundi mismo ang economic at ating mamayaman kasi sabi natin magkakaroon talaga tayo ng transport crisis. Mas malaking bahagi pa rin ng traditional jeepney ang hindi pumapasok sa consolidation," he added.

Last Monday, Dec. 18, members of PISTON and MANIBELA commenced their two-week tigil pasada in protest against the Dec. 31 franchise consolidation deadline.

Related Topics
listen Live
DZRH News Live Streaming
Most Read