Transport groups in Cebu won’t push through with their planned transport strike on Monday, July 21.
According to Ahmed Cuizon, Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7 Director, the transport groups have called off the strike. Instead, they promised to submit to LTFRB and the Land Transportation Office their list of specific issues and concerns on the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) Joint Administrative Order for review and possible changes.
A meeting was held at White Gold House last Saturday in the presence of Rep. Raul del Mar. Another militant group, PISTON, did not attend the meeting, but assured LTFRB that their protest will be limited to pickets and small rallies.
At the Cebu Provincial Capitol, Provincial Administrator Atty. Mark Tolentino assured the availability of three large buses from Central Command 7 for commuters in case of a strike.
President Julito Flores of Cebu South Mini Bus Operators also assured that they are ready to assist in lending buses for commuters.
“We will also have vehicles ready for our employees to ensure their ride home,” said Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III. He added that Capitol might even hire more vehicles, if needed.
However, Davide announced no suspension of work in Capitol on Monday. “We will not be threatened by the strike. Nangandam lang ta (We are just preparing),” he said.
Earlier, the National Confederation of Transportworkers’ Union (NCTU) said they will hold a transport strike on Monday, July 21 to oppose the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 2014-01. At least 10,000 jeepney and bus drivers were expected to join the strike, said NCTU Cebu chairperson Romeo Armamento.
In his opinion, Davide expressed that the group’s strike is “unfair to the commuting public”.
“Para nako, dili sakto ang mag-strike dayon. Affected man gud ang commuting public ana. (For me, it is not right to conduct a strike immediately because it greatly affects the commuting public),” said Davide.
He said there are many ways to air out concerns if they want to assail JAO 2014-01.“They can always go to court to question that or petition the DOTC or the LTFRB”, he said.
Davide also revealed that transport groups were given chance to question JAO 2014-01 as reported to him by LTFRB 7 Chief Ahmed Cuizon. “But they never took advantage of it,” he said.
The transport group is opposing the order for its “oppressive” fines and penalties for traffic violations”.
As regards to penalties, Davide advised drivers to avoid committing violations so they won’t be penalized.