THE large associations of drivers and local manufacturers of modern jeepneys thanked Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez for his concern and for listening to their grievances against the alleged inhumane Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) program of former President Rodrigo Duterte.
Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON) President Mody Floranda and Manibela President Mar Valbuena were pleased that Speaker Romualdez allowed them into the House of Representatives last Wednesday, while conducting a rally outside Batasan.
“Nagpapasalamat po kami sa inyong pakikinig sa aming hinaing upang hindi mawala ang aming hanapbuhay,” Floranda said.
“Malaking bagay po sa aming lahat ang inyong (Speaker Romualdez) pakikinig para ipaglaban ang aming kabuhayan. Maraming salamat po,” Valbuena said.
During the consultation, Speaker Romualdez also assured that he will convey to Pres. Marcos, their objection against buying expensive modern jeepneys amounting to P2.6 million from China, under the consolidation program, which was pushed by former Pres. Duterte, compared to the local modern jeepneys that costs less than a million pesos.
Less than an hour after Speaker Romualdez made the appeal, Malacañang announced the extension of the deadline on the consolidation program by three months.
In the dialogue held this Friday by Elmer Francisco of eFrancisco Motor Corporation and Ed Sarao of Sarao Motors with Speaker Romualdez, the leader of the House of Representatives assured that the Marcos administration will pay attention to strengthening the production of local vehicles that comply with international standards.
“Maraming salamat po Speaker Martin sa oras na ibinigay ninyo upang pakinggan ang aming karaingan sa mas mura, matibay, ligtas, at maasahang jeep,” Francisco said.
Sarao added, “Tinitiyak po namin na mas matibay ang gawang Pinoy na modernong mga jeep para sa mga Pilipino.”
According to Francisco, he spoke with Maharlika Investment Corporation (MIC) CEO Joel Consing regarding the possible investment of $200 million or the equivalent of P11 billion capital for jeepney modernization from the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF).
“Itong gobyerno, this Congress will be very much behind you and supportive of your industry,” Speaker Romualdez said during the meeting. “Ang priority po natin ay Philippine-made as this will bring out Philippine jobs and all other benefits.”
While it is recognizing the importance of foreign investment, Speaker Romualdez said the government’s priority is to have a reliable, stable, safe and inexpensive Filipino-made transportation jeepney.
“Asahan nyo po na si Presidente Ferdinand Marcos Jr., kagaya ng kanyang ama, ay suportado ang anumang Philippine-made initiatives,” according to Speaker Romualdez. “Itong gobyerno, this Congress will be very much behind you and supportive of your industry.”
Speaker Romualdez was joined by Deputy Speaker David “Jay-jay” Suarez of Quezon and House Committee on Appropriations Chairman Zaldy Co of Ako Bicol Partylist, during the dialogue.
“Ang Kongreso, sa pamamagitan ng liderato ni Speaker Martin Romualdez ay hindi lang nakatutok sa mga problemang kinakaharap ng mga Pilipino, nag-iisip din ng agarang mga solusyon,” Suarez pointed out.
He addead, “Ang solusyon ay mula sa pag-iisip ng mga Pilipino. Ang mangyayari po rito, ang gagawa ng solusyon ay Pilipino rin. Ang makikinabang sa solusyon ay Pilipino rin.”