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.
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.