DUE to the nationwide transport strike on Monday, classes in all levels in Bacolod City, both private and public schools, will be suspended.
Acting Mayor El Cid Familiaran Friday, September 27, signed Executive Order No. 28 declaring the suspension of classes due to the national transport strike.
Familiaran said there will be a nationwide protest by various transport groups on September 30, from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., against the implementation of the public utility vehicle (PUJ) modernization program by the national government.
“The transport groups from Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City will join the national transport strike on the referred date which is expected to paralyze 70 percent of the city’s major routes in the morning and 99 percent by lunch time,” he said.
The Department of Education Division of Bacolod City has expressed concern over the said transport strike and has recommended the suspension of classes in all levels for both public and private schools.
Familiaran stressed that only the classes will be suspended and the government offices will be open for a business transaction.
He said government vehicles will be deployed in various areas for the government employees.
The city’s two buses will be deployed in areas of Barangay Sum-ag-Hall and Barangay Bata-Pepsi. The IPM trucks will also be deployed in the areas of barangays Granada, Mansilingan, and Handumanan going to the Bacolod Government Center.
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.
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.
Familiaran also supported the sentiments of the transport groups claiming that he’s not against the modernization of the PUJ, but the problem is the affordability of the brand new vehicle.
“It’s good to have new vehicles for the safety of our passengers, but our transport sector cannot afford the cost of the new vehicle so I wish the national government will also consider their concern,” the acting mayor said.