LGUs pre­pare for loom­ing trans­port strike on Mon­day

Cebu Daily News - - NEWS - By Jose Santino S. Bu­na­chita and Nor­man V. Men­doza WITH CHRIS­TINE JANE N. PALER, CNU IN­TERN

In prepa­ra­tion for the planned trans­port strike by the Pagkakaisa ng Sama­han ng mga Tsu­per at Operey­tor Na­tion­wide (Pis­ton) on Mon­day, the cities of Cebu, Man­daue and La­puLapu will de­ploy trucks, buses and other ve­hi­cles to ferry com­muters who may be stranded in the streets.

In Cebu City, Coun­cilor Dave Tu­mu­lak said there will be at least 15 Kaoh­si­ung buses on standby that will be fielded in ar­eas where there are many stranded pas­sen­gers. The Cebu City Trans­porta­tion Of­fice will be mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion on the streets on real time.

“We will pre­pare. We re­spect their rights if they want to hold a strike. But it does not mean we will sac­ri­fice the wel­fare of our pas­sen­gers. It’s the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the city to safe­guard our pas­sen­gers and com­muters,” he said.

The Cebu City Po­lice Of­fice (CCPO) will also de­ploy ad­di­tional po­lice­men to main­tain peace and or­der and avert any pos­si­ble vi­o­lence that may oc­cur.

The Man­daue City gov­ern­ment is like­wise pre­pared. The Traf­fic En­force­ment Agency of Man­daue (Team) will also field ve­hi­cles and per­son­nel to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion on Mon­day.

Team head Glenn An­tigua, how­ever, said that they have not yet re­ceived any of­fi­cial in­for­ma­tion about the strike and that they still have to fi­nal­ize their prepa­ra­tions.

“But usu­ally dur­ing a trans­port strike, we will use our ve­hi­cles like L300, self-loader trucks and Kaoh­si­ung buses to help the af­fected pas­sen­gers,” he said.

In Lapu-Lapu City, gov­ern­ment ve­hi­cles will be de­ployed to mit­i­gate the ef­fect of the trans­port strike on Mon­day.

“We have around five flatbed Elf trucks, two buses and some barangay ve­hi­cles avail­able to trans­port stranded pas­sen­gers,” said Andy Ber­ame, head of the Lapu-Lapu City Dis­as­ter Risk Re­duc­tion Man­age­ment Of­fice (LL­CDR­RMO).

He also said they will bring pas­sen­gers from Lapu-Lapu City to Park Mall in Man­daue City and back, free of charge.

Se­cu­rity ar­range­ments are still to be dis­cussed by Mayor Paz Radaza and Supt. Rom­mel Cabag­not of the Lapu-Lapu City Po­lice Of­fice.

Ac­cord­ing to Ber­ame, jeep­ney driv­ers in La­puLapu City do not usu­ally join trans­port strikes, ex­cept those ply­ing routes that go in and out of the city. He said Pis­ton does not have mem­bers in Lapu-Lapu City but merely sends their mem­bers to the city to ask help from the ur­ban poor groups there.

Pis­ton-Cebu pres­i­dent Greg Perez said the protest ac­tion on Mon­day is na­tion­wide. It will start with a car­a­van in Man­daue City go­ing to Lapu-Lapu City, then back to Man­daue and pro­ceed to Cebu City and Tal­isay City, then back to Cebu City where the car­a­van will end with a rally in front of the of­fice of the Land Trans­porta­tion Fran­chis­ing and Reg­u­la­tory Board (LT­FRB).

At least 250 driv­ers are ex­pected to join the strike/protest rally which will be a whole-day ac­tiv­ity.

The trans­port groups are protest­ing the phase­out of jeep­neys over 10 years old. They see the phase­out as anti-poor and ex­pect an in­crease in fare rates if its is im­ple­mented.

“Kung ato ni siyang tugutan, mga brand new man ni nga mga sakyanan nga gimugna, mao ni gi­in­gon karon nga maapek­tuhan gyud ang atong fare,” said Perez.

(If we let this hap­pen, there will be brand new ve­hi­cles that will be used, and this will surely af­fect the cur­rent fare rates.

CDN FILE PHOTO

As in past trans­port strikes, the Cebu City gov­ern­ment will de­ploy Kaoh­si­ung buses on Mon­day to ferry stranded pas­sen­gers, as Pis­ton plans a protest ac­tion that they hope would par­a­lyze pub­lic trans­port.

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