No transport strike in Cebu

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

CEBU CITY -- Local transport leaders will submit their position papers on their concerns against Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 2014-01 to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) Central Visayas and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Central Visayas on Monday.

Julito Flores, president of the Cebu South Mini Bus Operators Association; Romeo Armamento of the National Confederation of Transportworkers’ Union; and Benjamin Ryan Yu of Cebu Integrated Transport Service Cooperative also jointly announced that they will not be staging a transport strike on Monday.

“We forego our planned strike and we hope that all the drivers and operators from various groups will respect our decision,” Flores said.


Own agenda

Members of the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) Cebu, though, were absent during the meeting called by LFTRB-Central Visayas Director Ahmed Cuizon and LTO-Central Visayas Director Arnel Tancinco.

Greg Perez, Piston Cebu coordinator, said they were not told about the meeting.

“We did not call for a strike in Cebu. What we decided at Piston is to hold a protest rally in Mandaue City and ask the Mandaue City Council to pass an ordinance against JAO 2014-01 and other questionable traffic rules,” Perez said.

Cuizon said he had appealed to Perez and Piston not to wage a transport strike.

Change of heart

“He (Perez) promised that his group’s protest will be limited mainly to rallies. I also invited him to submit a list of specific concerns and suggestions on the JAO to my office on Monday, but he said that he is leaving it to his national organization to make such a move,” Cuizon said.

Flores, Armamento and Yu met with Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Abaya, LTFRB Chairman Winston Gines and LTO Chief Assistant Secretary Alfonso Tan Jr. earlier in the week.

“The drivers and operators really appreciated the all-out willingness of Abaya and the LTO and LTFRB officials in Manila to listen to them and hear their concerns. I understand that they forego the transport strike because they are hoping that their problem will be solved in a peaceful way,” said Cebu City North District Representative Raul del Mar, who accompanied Flores, Armamento and Yu to the meeting.

Del Mar said current transport leaders want to solve issues without damaging public interest.

“I highly commend (them) for their welcome change of attitude and we appreciate it,” he said.


Meanwhile, Flores said they are not against the entire JAO 2014-01. He said they just want to amend provisions that they deem unfair and oppressive.

He said operators bear the brunt of the penalties, even though the drivers are the ones who commit the violations. “That is unfair and oppressive because the operator has nothing to do with what the driver is doing,” he said.

Flores said they support other provisions that impose heavy fines on driving a colorum vehicle, driving without a license, driving under the influence of liquor and drugs, driving without vehicle registration and refusing to convey passengers. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 20, 2014.

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