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Jeepney strike cancelled by protest leaders

/ 10:28 AM December 03, 2017

Leaders of a planned jeepney strike set for Monday and Tuesday (Dec. 4 and 5) announce the cancellation of their nationwide protest during a press conference in Quezon City on Sunday morning, Dec. 3, 2017. PATHRICIA ANN ROXAS

A transport group opposed to the phaseout of jeepneys cancelled on Sunday its planned nationwide transport strike after Senator Grace Poe promised to hear their concerns at a Senate hearing on Dec. 7.

The No to Jeepney Phaseout Coalition led by Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) has announced the cancellation of their jeepney strike which is slated on Monday to Tuesday.

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“Wini-welcome at na-appreciate natin ang pag-imbita ni Senator Grace Poe kaya magbibigay-daan tayo sa konsultasyong ito at ipagpaliban muna ang ating tigil-pasada,” Piston President George San Mateo said in a press conference in Quezon City.

Meanwhile, San Mateo chided the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for not consulting them.

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“Yan ang ‘di ginagawa ng LTFRB. Dahil dyan napagdesisyunan natin with consulatation sa mga myembro sa  Metro Manila at ibang ibang probinsya na pansamantalang itigil muna ang tigi-pasada,” the transport leader said.

“Patunay ito na bukas tayo sa dayalogo,” he added.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade earlier said that the LTFRB and the Land Transportation Office had repeatedly invited San Mateo and Piston to dialogues to no avail.

“We have invited Piston to dialogues, but still they insisted on holding strikes. Other transport groups sat down with us and we discussed the program together. Why can’t Piston do that? I am positive that when they do, they will understand and they will agree that it is time to overhaul the public transportation system,” Tugade said in a statement.

READ: Jeepney strike: Gov’t threatens drivers, operators … again

In lieu of a transport holiday, San Mateo said their members would stage a series of protests from Monday to Wednesday, and a wider transport strike in January 2018.

He said they would gather at the Welcome Rotonda on Monday and march to the University of Santo Tomas, where they will meet with other protesters at 11 a.m. They would proceed to Mendiola for a program.

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On Tuesday, San Mateo said they would protest either at the Department of Justice or at the Metropolitan Trial Court to condemn the charges filed against him by the LTFRB.

In preparation for their dialogue at the Senate, where they hope to meet Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade , they will hold a vigil at Mendiola on Wednesday.

Asked what alternatives to the jeepney-modernization program their group was set to suggest before the Senate panel, San Mateo answered: “a system where there is national industrialization.”

“Kumpleto tayo sa raw materials. Kailangan talaga mag-produce ng sarili nating makina imbes na import ng import at massive liberalization,” he said. “Panahon na para maging self-reliant tayo.” /cbb

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TAGS: George San Mateo, Grace Poe, news, No to Jeepney Phaseout Coalition, Piston, Senate
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