NMindanao transport groups set strike

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: A region-wide transport strike in Northern Mindanao is set on Monday to dramatize protest against the impending phase out of all 15-year-old public utility jeepneys (PUJs) next year.

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Joel Gabatan, vice chairman of the National Confederation of Transport Workers Union (NCTU) for Mindanao, said the planned transport strike would pushed through after negotiations with the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) in Manila failed.

He said about 16 transport groups in Northern Mindanao decided to join the planned nationwide transport strike on February 27 after the DOTC failed to reconsider the five-year moratorium asked by the transport group prior the implementation of the phase out order.

An education official here also reminded parents to discern on the safety of their students during the transport strike, but reminded that all employees and teachers should report to their offices and classrooms.

Reynaldo Manuel, Asst. School Division Superintendent, said that “if the parents believed that the safety of their student could be compromised because of the transport strike, then they should let their students stay at home.”

“The Department of Education would devise a plan to make up the absences of the students during the transport strike,” Manuel added.

Gabatan said that the extension of the phasing out for another five years could prepare the operators and drivers to find an alternative source of income.

He said the transport groups had also asked for a possible government subsidy within the five-year period.

The DOTC has reportedly issued a Memorandum for the phase out next year, while the operators with remaining PUJs would be required to put up a capital outlay of P7 million, P2 million of which would be for the maintenance and P5 million to be used to acquire at least 10 additional new units.

“The DOTC memorandum is unrealistic,” Gabatan said.

PNA

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  1. The “jeepney” transport throughout the Philippines requires a massive overhaul. The majority of vehicles offering public transport services are little more than mobile deathtraps and the drivers are lunatics. The vehicles are in poor mechanical condition with insufficient tire treads, poor braking, inadequate windscreen wipers (if any) and poor lighting. The law requires only white lights to the front and only red lights to the rear. Many vehicles have multi colored lights both front and rear.
    Turning signals (rarely used) front and rear should be amber but many vehicles have none.
    The police take no action against these operators. Even if they do, a hundred pesos makes the issue go away.

    All public transport vehicles should follow the certification systems of the country they copy from most often (USA). All States in the USA enforce motor vehicle regulations which must comply to a minimum roadworthy standard. And the drivers of public vehicles must be licensed only after passing a strict driving competence test.

    In the Philippines just paying the required fee and passing a simple drug test is all that is required to obtain a driving license!.

    The National Confederation of Transport Workers Union (NCTU) should ensure that their members operate roadworthy vehicles and that the drivers are competent to be in control of the passengers safety.

    Many ask why the Philippines is classed as a third world country the answer is simple. There is so much corruption and dishonesty at the highest level of Government that the stigma of being 40 years behind the times will never change.