Piston: Jeepney strike vs phaseout cripples Western Visayas routes
ILOILO CITY — Public transport was crippled in most of Western Visayas on Monday at the start of a two-day strike against the planned phaseout of public utility vehicles (PUVs) at least 15 years old.
Edgar Salarda, spokesperson of the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) on Panay Island, said about 97 percent of PUVs in the city and province of Iloilo joined the strike.
In Capiz, about 95 percent of public transport plying from and to Roxas City, the provincial capital, did not ply their routes in protest.
The strike also affected about 95 percent of public transport in Aklan which also stayed parked.
Transport groups in Antique and Guimaras provinces also joined the strike, according to Salarda. Only big buses, taxi and several vans continued plying their routes.
Government agencies and local government units deployed vehicles offering free rides to employees and commuters.
The transport groups are opposing the modernization program of the Department of Transportation, fearing this will result in higher costs and loss of livelihood to operators and drivers. They are instead pushing for a rehabilitation program of the existing PUVs. SFM/rga
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