Cebu drivers join strike, partially disrupt public transport
CEBU CITY — Public transportation in Mandaue and Cebu cities was affected on Monday when drivers and operators went to strike to protest the planned phase-out of passenger jeepneys that were at least 15 years old.
The Pinag-isang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) claimed that their members crippled public transportation in Mandaue by 60 percent and in Cebu City by 30 percent.
At least 20 drivers gathered at the Butuanon Bridge in Mandaue at about 6 a.m. to convince other drivers who were on the road to stop working and join the strike.
Abet Yniza of Piston-Mandaue chapter said tricycle drivers plying routes in Barangays Umapad, Alang-Alang, Paknaan and Labogon joined the strike.
Stranded passengers were seen along United Nations Avenue, SB Cabahug Street in Barangay Centro and near Pacific Mall in Barangay Ibabao.
But Felix Suico of Mandaue’s command center claimed that only 30 percent of the city’s public transportation were affected by the strike.
He said that as of 7 a.m., city hall authorized the deployment of three Ceres buses to ferry stranded passengers. Each passenger would pay P10 in fare.
The Ceres buses plied routes from city hall to Barangays Maguikay, Tipolo and Subangdaku and SM mall passing through the national highway. On the way back, buses passed by the North Reclamation Area.
There are about 700 Piston members in Mandaue including around 200 tricycle drivers.
In Cebu City, stranded passengers were seen in the city’s uptown and downtown areas and along Escario Street and N. Bacalso Avenue as well as in Barangays Talamban and Mabolo in the north district and Labangon and Bulacao in the south.
Councilor Dave Tumulak said the transport strike failed to cripple the city’s public transport system.
He said the presence of commuters on the road was common sight in the mornings when students and employees were out to go to school and to report for work.
“These were the usual passengers but we had them fetched by our buses,” he added.
Tumulak said city hall already deployed seven buses about 6 a.m. CBB
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