Group ignores Starex call for transport strike

NOT all transport organizations in Cagayan de Oro City will be joining the local transport strike launched by the Solidarity of Transport Alliance in Northern Mindanao (Starex-Piston) today, March 19.

The National Confederation of Transport Union-Northern Mindanao (NCTU-10) which has 13 member organizations will continue plying the streets despite calls by Starex to join the protest against Jeepney phase out.

NCTU-10 regional coordinator Joel Gabatan said their leaders have agreed not to join the strike.

“Nanawag ang mga leaders nako ug giingnan nako nga dili moduyog, nagpasalamat sila ug sila na nag-inform sa ilang mga membro,”Gabatan said.

However, Gabatan said the group will not prevent driver-members from participating the strike.

“Pero wala ko nanawagan nga dili mouban kay free among mga members kay individual man ang atong katungod,” he added.

Starex-Piston has urged drivers and operators across the region to suspend their operation for a day to protest the government’s plan to phase out jeepneys in the guise of Jeepney modernization program.

Ringo Lago, Starex-Piston secretary general, said the strike aims to show the government that the transport sector needs rehabilitation and not taking away the livelihood of drivers and operators by stopping them from travelling their usual thoroughfares.

“Atong ipakita sa gobyernong Duterte ang kasuko ug sentimento sa pagbatok sa ginapamugos niining corporate ‘MURDERnization (modernization) nga moresulta sa pag-phase out sa tanang nakaraang jeepney aron ilisan sa E-jeep (solar o electric) ug makinang Euro 4 diin walay laing makabenepisyo niini kundili mga higante ug langyawng negosyo (We will show our dismay that the government is forcing their MURDERnization which will result to jeepney phaseout to give way to e-jeep. This move will only benefit big business owners),”Lago said.

However, Gabatan agreed that some jeepneys have to be phased out for obvious reason, though with conditions that the government must compensate all affected drivers and operators.

“Dili mi moduyog pero gisuportahan nato sila kay managlahi among baruganan sa Starex kay kami uyon mi pero naay kondisyon nga mabayran ang mga apektado kay nakita nato nga duna gyud angay na nga i-phase out,” Gabatan said.

Gabatan believes that transportation will remain normal as he cast doubts that Starex-Piston could paralyze the transportation.

The NCTU-10 has 300 individual members in Cagayan de Oro City alone while Gabatan is currently organizing a cooperative with 11 groups, which are not yet members of NCTU.

“Tan-aw nako normal ra ug dili ma-paralyze ang transportation kay daghan ta grupo sa lain-laing ruta ug alyado pud nga mga grupo nga mamasahero,” he said.

“Dili lang mabalaka ang katawhan kay naa gyud sila masakyan. Ug dili lang pud unta magmahay ang Starex nga dili ta makauban kay dili man pareha ang among baruganan pero wala nagpasabot nga uyon ug sundon na lang pud namo ang tanan gusto sa gobyerno,” Gabatan added.
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