Bacolod organizers declare transport strike a success
BACOLOD CITY—Organizers claimed success in the city for a nationwide transport strike on Monday, Sept. 30, which was called to protest a public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program that would phase out jeepneys.
They estimated that only 1 percent of jeepneys plied their routes here.
Diego Malacad, secretary general of the United Negros Drivers Operators Center (Undoc), claimed only a few PUVs were out in the streets during the strike.
Mayors of towns in Negros Occidental province suspended classes as a result of the transport strike set from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Classes in three cities in the province—Bacolod, Talisay and Bago—and two towns—EB Magalona and Murcia—were suspended.
Work at government offices, however, continued.
The Bacolod City government deployed vehicles to ferry commuters while the Negros Occidental provincial government set up a carpooling system for its employees.
Police were highly visible during the strike in an attempt to prevent violence.
Among the groups that joined the strike were Undoc, Sentrong Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Negros (SStone) and the Federation of Bacolod City Drivers Association (Febacda).
The groups said they are not against modernization of PUVs but are protesting the high cost of replacement vehicles being endorsed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
Jesse Ortega, SStone secretary general, said leaders advised members not to harass drivers who refused to join the strike.
Vallacar Transit Inc., which operates Ceres Liner buses, didn’t join the strike.
Diego Malacad, Undoc secretary general, said the strike began at 5 a.m. with rally centers around Bacolod City.
Col. Romeo Baleros, Negros Occidental police director, said policemen in the province were deployed to keep the peace.
Police also helped deploy vehicles to help local governments ferry stranded passengers, said Baleros.
The Bacolod City government deployed tourist buses for commuters with transactions at the city government center and old city hall./TSB
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