Transport group warns of bigger protest after calling off strike

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A TRANSPORT group warned of staging a bigger protest soon after cancelling its strike today, Tuesday, so that its drivers could go back on the road.

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“Napagkasunduan namin na babalik na muna kami sa kalsada. Ang importante maipahiwatig namin ang mga hinaing sa jeepney phaseout,” Jun Magno, president of the Stop and Go Coalition, said on the second day of a two-day protest that started on Monday.

(We agreed that we would return to the road first. The important thing is we were able to air our grievance against the jeepney phaseout.)

Describing Monday’s strike as “successful”, Magno said the coalition was planning to organize a bigger protest although he did not offer details.

He added: “Kung kinakailangan ng malawakang protesta, hindi naman namin intensiyong makaperwisyo. Ito ang pamamaraan para kami ay kausapin ng aming pamahalaan.”

(If a bigger protest is needed, we do not intend to inconvenience the public. This is our way to get the government to talk to us.)

The transport group staged a protest in front of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Central Office on Monday, calling the government’s modernization program a “phase out for the anti-poor” after proposing a new public utility vehicle (PUV) that will cost P1.6 million per unit. This means that a jeepney operator or driver will have to shell out P800 daily to pay for the unit.

READ: Transport group holds strike vs jeepney modernization program

This is the group’s third strike for the year.

However, the nationwide strike on Monday hardly affected customers in Luzon and Visayas.

According to LTFRB spokesperson Aileen Lizada, the effect of the strike held on Mondaay was “very minimal.”

“Very minimal ang epekto ng Stop and Go na strike. We’re talking of areas only in Commonwealth, Sandigan Bayan, LITEX, and Sta. Ana. Ito lang yung mga areas na affected.” she said.

Lizada added that only 5,000 passengers have been affected around Metro Manila on Monday, not even reaching 1 percent of around 10 million commuters in the National Capital Region.

READ: Transport strike fails in Luzon, Visayas

Drivers and operators who joined Monday’s strike will also be disqualified from getting licenses from the LTFRB under the modernization program.

“Licenses will only be given to those who are worthy to be on the road. Alam po namin kung ano’ng cooperatives ang involved. Definitely they will be held accountable,” Lizada added.

 

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