MAJOR transport organizations in the province project a 95 percent paralysis on public utility vehicles on Monday, September 30, as they join the nationwide transport strike.
In a joint statement issued by the Sentrong Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Negros (SSTONE) and Federation Bacolod City Drivers Association (Febacda), the protest stemmed over the government’s public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program, which will be implemented on July 1, 2020.
Both groups said they strongly oppose the phase out of old PUVs and replacing them with Class 3 vehicles being peddled by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) which costs P2.4 million per unit.
Another issue also being protested by the groups is the LTFRB’s plans to consolidate the franchises by way of forming corporation which will give way for the control of all PUVs in the country.
They claimed under the LTFRB’s plans, all transport cooperatives will ultimately be abolished and subsumed by the corporations.
The groups further claimed several transport cooperatives have already met a host of problems such as the unavailability of spare parts, thereby affecting their income and burying them deeper in bank debts.
They further clarified that they are not against modernization “per se” but the cost of the Class 3 vehicles is too expensive and beyond the reach of their drivers and operators.
Both SSTONE and Febacda added the strikes will take place from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jessie Ortega, secretary general of SSTONE, appeals to the public for sympathy by just staying in their respective houses on Monday if they have no important matter to do here in Bacolod City especially those from out of town.