NTCU, Citrasco call off strike

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Friday, July 18, 2014


THE National Confederation of Transportworkers Union (NTCU) and the Cebu Integrated Transport Service Cooperatives (Citrasco) called off their planned two-day transportation strike next week.

NTCU head Romeo Armamento said their meeting with officials of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Manila yesterday morning had a positive outcome.

He said the three agencies committed to review their Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 2014-01, which imposes higher penalties for traffic violations.

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Joint review

Armamento and Citrasco head Benjamin Ryan Yu met with DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and Undersecretary Edwin Lopez at the DOTC office yesterday together with LTFRB Executive Director Robero Cabrera, LTO Assistant Secretary Alfonso Tan and Cebu City North District Rep. Raul del Mar.

Following their meeting, Armamento and Yu said Abaya ordered LTO 7 and LTFRB 7 to start the review of the JAO with drivers at 10 a.m. today at the White Gold House.

The objective of the joint review is to come up with a new JAO that has lower penalties and fines for traffic violations.

Yu said the new JAO will also consider their concerns about the equal liability of jeepney or taxi operators for violations committed by drivers, among others.

“In five days, they have assured us of a guaranteed response,” he said.

Not taking chances

Despite NTCU and Citrasco’s announcement, Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council presiding officer Councilor Dave Tumulak said they will still deploy 103 buses on Monday and Tuesday in case other transport groups, such as the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide, will continue with the strike.

They are the same group who organized last month’s strike, he said.

“We can’t take any chances. So we’ll deploy the buses to ensure there won’t be any stranded passengers,” he said in Cebuano.

Of the 103 buses the City will be deploying, Tumulak said 24 are Kaohsiung buses, 54 are barangay buses, 15 are Ceres buses and five are military trucks from the Central Command (Centcom), among others.

The buses will be deployed in strategic areas from 5 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The Cebu Provincial Government will also field three buses for its employees on Monday.

“I have talked to Provincial Administrator (Mark) Tolentino and he has been assured that Centcom has available buses. I also got the assurance of Mr. (Julieto) Flores, Cebu Provincial Bus Operators Association spokesperson, that they are ready to give assistance,” Gov. Hilario Davide III said. (Rosedelyn Catalan, USJ-R Mass Comm intern)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 19, 2014.

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