Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the government’s effort to pool funds for a livelihood program for jeepney operators affected by the PUVMP

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the government’s effort to pool funds for a livelihood program for jeepney operators affected by the PUVMP

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) welcomes President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s order directing government agencies to pool funds for a livelihood program for jeepney drivers and operators impacted by the Public Utility Vehicle Modernisation Program (PUVMP).

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma referred to the livelihood program as the “enTSUPERneur,” which would provide at least ₱30,000 worth of in-kind livelihood assistance for affected transport workers.

In a previous statement, CHR stated that the government must take appropriate steps to address the issue of potential income loss among affected PUVMP operators, as well as the need for a balanced and considerate approach to implementing modernisation efforts to ensure they align with broader societal welfare. This program clearly represents a significant step forward in responding to the appeal for assistance and taking a compassionate approach to those affected by the PUVMP.

The Commission also recognises the recent directive to extend the deadline for PUV franchise consolidation until 30 April 2024. However, it is important to reiterate that joining a cooperative should be a voluntary decision, as stated in the International Labour Organization Convention 87 (ILOC 87) and Article XIII, Section 3 of the Philippine Constitution. Only by adhering to these provisions will the affected operators be dealt with proactively and compassionately.

We take note of the Executive’s prerogative to issue an order providing aid and assistance to jeepney operators, in which the vast majority are still members of marginalised communities. This ensures that different government agencies work together to create a modernisation program that is both inclusive and respectful of everyone’s rights.

The Commission continues to support the government’s development initiative while also advocating for advancement that responds to the needs of all people, particularly the vulnerable and marginalised. Let us continue to work together to create a just, inclusive, and progressive nation that upholds the principles of humanity, empathy, and responsiveness.###