Health professionals and health workers are no strangers to "modernization" of public services. For years, the government has attempted to privatize government hospitals such as the Philippine Orthopedic Center for profit via so-called modernization. But health professionals and health workers, through understanding the implications and effects of such privatization schemes, have stood firm to oppose it. Health Alliance for Democracy opposes the "modernization" scheme of the Duterte administration for these very same reasons.
|Photo from MayDay Multimedia at the Transport Strike in Cubao, October 16, 2017.|
The "modernization" of public transport is simply privatization. The proposed vehicles from foreign car manufacturers cost more than a million, which the drivers cannot afford. Monopoly control means deregulated fare hikes: higher fares! This echoes the laboratory fees increase in hospitals when privatized. The modernized MRT/LRT payment system was also a similar case.
Private-monopoly interests are at the core of the jeepney phaseout. The privatization of the transport system is no different from what we, health professionals and health workers deal with on a daily basis. The same big companies who are willing to gamble on the privatization of transport are the same entities who scurry for the privatization of hospitals (Ayala, Pangilinan). What makes it enticing for our government officials that they would go so far as to demonize the transport srike? Private-monopoly interests.
Thus we express our support to the No to Jeepney Phaseout campaign. We support Piston in their push for modernization that is not based on private interests but instead rests on the interest of the masses. Most of all, we congratulate the No to Jeepney Phaseout Coalition, Piston, the drivers and operators, fellow commuters and the masses for the success of the nationwide transport strike! ##