No classes in Bacolod, Negros Occidental on Monday, Sept. 30
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines — Classes in all levels in Bacolod City in both public and private schools are suspended on Monday, Sept. 30, in anticipation of a mass transport strike.
Acting Bacolod Mayor El Cid Familiaran ordered the suspension of classes after transport groups decided to join the nationwide protest against the implementation of the public utility vehicle modernization program by the national government.
Work in government offices in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental, however, will go on.
Familiaran said the transport strike would take place from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the transport sector was aiming to paralyze 70 percent of the city’s major routes.
The strike organizers expect a 99-percent transport paralysis by noon.
“Upon the recommendation of Department of Education, and the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, we decided to suspend classes because of the concern of DepEd for the safety and convenience of the students. However, our government offices will function normally,” Familiaran said.
Vallacar Transit Inc., the biggest bus company in the country, will not join the transport strike.
Familiaran said there would be government vehicles and trucks assigned for employees so their functions would not be affected.
These vehicles would be deployed in Barangays Bata, Granada, Mansilingan, Sum-ag and Handumanan.
Familiaran said he was not against the modernization program.
The problem, he said, was the affordability of brand new vehicles which he believed was the concern of the transport sector.
“They cannot afford the costs of new vehicles,” he said.
If the government could finance the PUJ modernization program with minimal or no interest, Familiaran said the modernization program might be more acceptable to the transport sector.
“Upon learning about the program, some PUJ owners are selling their old units. But who will buy them even if these are still in running condition?” he said.
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson also issued a memorandum announcing the setting up of a carpooling system to enable provincial government employees to work on Monday.
The Provincial Engineer’s Office will provide four vehicles for its employees at the Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Parish Church in Barangay Mansilingan, Caltex Gasoline Station in Barangay Bata, Caltex Gasoline Station near Lopue’s East in Barangay Villamonte and in front of the Government Service Insurance System office in Barangay Tangub, Bacolod City.
All department heads are encouraged to maximize the carpooling service, Lacson said.
Provincial head Ferdinand Panes of the Department of the Interior and Local Government Negros Occidental said the mayors have the authority to suspend classes and work if needed.
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