ILOILO CITY, Mar 25 (PNA)–Public jeepney drivers allied with PISTON-Panay Chapter staged a peaceful but emotionally-charged demonstration here on Monday against the excessive fines and penalties imposed by the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

Edgar Salarda, Piston- Panay coordinator, said the unreasonably high fines are straining their meager take-home pay and driving many of their colleagues into debtto make ends meet.

The protesting drivers demanded that the LTO do away with Department Order 2008-39 which they claimed has made life for them miserable by authorizing the 100 percent increase in fines for road violations.

But LTO Region 6 Director Dennis M. Singzon, who met with the drivers along with his officials refuted the accusation, as he made it clear to them that the order has yet to be implemented. To appease them, he advised to put in writing their grievances addressed to LTO National Office.

The drivers also complained against the obligatory wearing of the blue t-shirt as uniform for jeepney drivers in which a fine of P 2,000 is slapped on drivers not following the dress code.

Vallacar Transit also came under fire from the demonstrators who accused the bus company of a plan to monopolize the passenger sector by enticing them to their upcoming, state of the art passenger terminal, and thus leaving the rest in the public transport with “leftover” passengers.

They also opposed the replacement of license plates by LTO, calling it as unjust and a burden to financially-stretched drivers as well as operators. (PNA)