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Cotabato City jeepney drivers back on road after 5-minute protest

/ 12:19 PM February 27, 2017
Commuters crowd a sidewalk along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City as a jeepney operators and drivers from Piston and Stop and Go Coalition went on strike. NINO JESUS ORBETA/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER

Jeepney strikes, including this one (shown in photo) in Quezon City,  happened in major cities across the country on Feb. 27, 2017, in protest against the phaseout of jeepneys at least 15-years-old.  But in Cotabato City, jeepney drivers staged a 5-minute protest and went on plying their routes. NINO JESUS ORBETA/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER

COTABATO CITY – Jeepney drivers here held a simple protest action, so simple that it lasted for only five minutes.

“We just gathered here at 9 a.m. at the city plaza for about five minutes and paused for a while to sympathize with our co-drivers nationwide, then we resumed our operation,” Absalom Sandig, a public utility jeepney driver, said.

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“This is voluntary,” said Sandig, who opposed the government’s plan to phase out old jeepneys at least 15 years old.

“Before that, we ferried students and office workers to schools and offices so that they would not be affected by  stoppage, if any,” he added.

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While they opposed the looming phaseout of jeepneys, George Mangansakan, president of the Awang-Cotabato City Transport Operators and Drivers Association (ACCTODA), said his group agreed not to join the nationwide stoppage “because we do not want to inconvenience our commuters.”  SFM/rga

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