MODERNIZED UNITS ENOUGH | Transport strike will not paralyze operations in Bacolod, mayor says

MODERNIZED UNITS ENOUGH | Transport strike will not paralyze operations in Bacolod, mayor says
Albee Benitez FB page photo

“Their scheduled transport strike will not paralyze the operations in Bacolod City.”

This was stressed by Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez on Monday, December 11, after the Bacolod Alliance for Commuters Operators and Drivers (Bacod) in the city earlier announced that they will hold a strike on December 13 to oppose the deadline set by the government for the phaseout of traditional jeepneys.

Benitez said that not all the transport groups in Bacolod City will join the strike so it will not affect the operations in the city.

He said at least 600 modernized jeepneys are operating in various areas to cater the commuters.

Aside from modernized jeepneys, he added that some of the traditional jeepneys will not join the strike.

Rudy Catedral, president of Bacolod Alliance for Commuters Operators and Drivers (Bacod), earlier said that they will continue their protest if the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will not release a new memorandum circular regarding the phaseout of the traditional jeepneys.

He said based on the LTFRB’s Memorandum Circular (MC) 2023-17, all traditional jeepneys are allowed to operate by virtue of an extended provisional authority (PA) until December 31.

He added their protest will be participated by at least 800 traditional jeepney drivers in Bacolod City.

Catedral noted that this will be a nationwide transport strike along with the Manibela and Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (Piston) in Manila.

Aside from Bacod, he said that they will be joined United Negros Drivers and Operators Center (Undoc), Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), and others.

Under the Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP), 24 routes have been identified in Bacolod City, with a total allocation of 1,099 modern jeepney units under the Public Utility Jeepney Modernization Program (PUVMP).

Benitez said Bacolod City has a total of 3,100 traditional jeepneys operating in various areas and the 800 PUJ drivers who signified to join the strike will not affect the operations of the city.

The traditional jeepney drivers have no choice but to follow the law until December 31, he said.

He added he will hold a meeting with the traditional jeepney drivers to get their sentiments and to determine on how to assist them.

The mayor noted that they also talked with some of the business establishment owners, especially the business process outsourcing (BPO) firms to augment their service vehicles to accommodate their employees who are working until late in the evening.

Benitez said he is hopeful by January next year, the city will reach the total allocation of 1,099 modern jeepney units under the PUVMP.

Moreover, Patrick Lacson, officer-in-charge of Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO), said they held a meeting with the modernized jeepney operators and they assured that there will be enough modernized jeepneys on December 13 to accommodate the commuters.

“They already prepared and promised us that they would have sufficient units of modernized jeepneys if all the traditional jeepneys joined the strike,” he said.*

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