Strike fails to paralyze public transport
By Connie Calipay and Paulo DS. Papa
LEGAZPI CITY --- The first day of the transport strike called for by the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (PISTON) on Monday did not paralyze the public transport system in Albay province as two groups opted to shun the protest action.
“Although we sympathize with the sentiments of our friends in the transport sector, we still believe that there are other effective ways to address our grievances,” Alex Bañares, Tabaco-Legazpi Transport Cooperative (TALETRANSCO) president, said in a statement. He added that they would continue to serve the public.
The Bicol Intercity Transport Cooperative (BITCoop) also refused to join the transport stoppage, citing the need to give the public a safe and orderly transport service.
“Bilang isang responsableng organisasyon sa transportasyon, naiintindihan namin ang kahalagahan ng aming papel sa komunidad at nangako kaming siguruhin hindi maantala ang aming serbisyo (As a responsible transport organization, we understand the importance of our role in the community and are committed to ensuring our service is not interrupted) BITCoop said in a separate statement.
Meanwhile, the Police Regional Office-5 (Bicol) is providing free transportation services to the public throughout the planned three-day strike.
“At least 100 Philippine National Police (PNP) vehicles are deployed across the region to transport passengers to their respective destinations. An additional 127 patrol cars are assigned for security and safety operations,” Lt. Col. Malu Calubaquib, PRO5 spokesperson, said in an interview.
“There will be a deployment of personnel on the ground to ensure the safety of the public. These will include foot and mobile patrol, border control, and police presence,” she added.
Calubaquib also said the Civil Disturbance Management Team has been activated, ready to respond promptly to any unforeseen incidents that may arise during the protest action. (PNA)
Naga’s transport coops buck national strike trend
Transport cooperatives in Naga City and Camarines Sur opted out of the nationwide transport strike held from Monday, Nov. 20, to Wednesday, Nov. 22.
The decision deviated from the stance taken by the progressive transport group Condor PISTTON, which announced the strike on Sunday, Nov. 19, in protest against the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) submission deadline for jeepney modernization documents on December 30, this year.
Local cooperatives like the Naga City San Isidro Transport Cooperative (NASITCO) chose to continue daily operations during the strike, citing limited passengers. The suspension of classes imposed by the city government of Naga on Monday aimed to mitigate potential disruptions for students living in nearby towns.
NASITCO’s Presiding President, Francis Camacho, explained their decision, highlighting the financial strain on members with daily incomes impacted by the minimum fare of P13.00 and fluctuating fuel prices, sometimes reaching P700.00 per unit.
Regarding the modernization phase, Camacho emphasized the need for government subsidies to maintain traditional jeepneys instead of coercing cooperatives to invest in P2,000,000.00 modernized units, which, he argued, could erode the Filipino identity in public transport.
Despite the strike’s limited effect locally, the city government ordered the resumption of classes on Tuesday, signaling the strike’s minimal impact in Naga.