BACOLOD

BCPO: Transport strike in Bacolod peaceful

THE conduct of transport strike in Bacolod City against the government’s public utility vehicles (PUV) Modernization Program was peaceful, Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) officials said.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Pico, spokesperson of BCPO, said on Monday, September 30, they were on full alert and several policemen were deployed in various streets.

He said there were no reported major incidents related to the activity from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.

He added that there was a slight tension between some members of the transport groups when some of them refused to join the strike.

Pico noted the problem was addressed immediately when policemen explained to them to allow the drivers who want to continue their trips.

The transport strike were participated by members of the United Negros Drivers and Operators Center (Undoc), the Federation of Bacolod City Drivers Associations (Febacda), and the Sentrong Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Negros (Sstone).

The SSTONE and Febacda members converged in the major areas at Lopue's East road, Mandalagan area, under the flyover at Araneta Street, and Banago, while members of Undoc and Bayan-Negros also converged in Libertad and Barangay Singcang area where they aired out their concerns.

Pico said at about 6 p.m., the said groups converged at the Old City Hall for their short program on their opposition of the PUV Modernizarion Program.

The transport groups strongly opposed phasing out 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 that under the LTFRB's plans, all transport cooperatives will ultimately be abolished and subsumed by the corporations.

Pico said several passengers were stranded, but the City Government also provided its free vehicles to ferry commuters especially government employees.

“The transport strike only paralyzed 80 percent of public utility vehicles because there were still buses and taxis operating in Bacolod and Negros Occidental,” he said.

Pico disclosed that BCPO Director Police Colonel Henry Biñas also inspected all the areas in Bacolod to ensure the peace and order of the transport strike.


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