Northern Mindanao transport group to hold protest

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Monday, January 6, 2014


THE National Confederation of Transport Union in Northern Mindanao (NCTU-NM) announced Monday that drivers and operators are threatening to hold a protest should the government fail to heed their demand for a fare increase.

Joel Gabatan, NCTU-NM spokesman, said they are demanding for a P1 fare hike for public utility jeepneys (PUJs) in Cagayan de Oro, making the minimum fare to P8.50.

Gabatan said since the group has not petitioned for a fare hike since 2009, an increase is inevitable.

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“But since we are ultimately hurt with the series of price increases in the petroleum products, it is now high time for us to demand for this increase,” he said.

He said they would also involve other organizations in the region to also call for the increase, as previous initiatives were spearheaded only by the NCTU-NM.

Gabatan said the NCTU-NM is currently holding a signature campaign with the help of other transport groups in the region, “so the government would be shaken by our call.”

He said NCTU-NM, one of the biggest transport groups in the country, is already pained by the government’s “hearing impairment” on its plea to control the prices of fuel.

Gabatan said they cannot anymore bear the burden of the continuing rise in the prices of basic commodities as a result of the skyrocketing fuel costs.

He said with the P1 fare increase they are asking, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board is expected to approve only P.50 to make the regular PUJ fare to P8.

Gabatan said they need to act according to the need of the group, so drivers will earn at least a decent living.

In previous years, drives and operators in Northern Mindanao said they will immediately collect P8.50 a minimum fare should the price of diesel reached P49.

At present, diesel fuel is priced at P49.10 per liter at selected fuel stations in Cagayan de Oro City, which Gabatan said, should be reason enough to implement the P8.50 regular fare.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 07, 2014.

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