Cebu to deploy special busses during October 16-17 transport strike
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Central Visayas said it is not taking chances despite the assurance given by transport group Piston Cebu that it does not seek to cripple the transport system in the metropolis during the nationwide transport strike on Monday and Tuesday next week, October 16 and 17.
LTFRB VII Director Ahmed Cuizon said on Friday, October 13, his office had been coordinating with local officials of the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu to provide alternative rides for passengers who might get stranded.
Cuizon said the managements of bus companies had also pledged to field buses. LTFRB VII will issue special permits to these busses so they can travel out of line to serve strike-affected passengers at a special fare of P10.
Each bus that will carry stranded passengers will be escorted by policemen.
“I don’t believe that the protest action will cripple Cebu’s transport system, but, just the same, we have to make preparations,” Cuizon told Rappler.
At least 150 jeepney and motorcycle drivers are joining the transport strike scheduled on Monday and Tuesday. The figure, however, is minimal. There are around 9,000 public utility jeeps in Metro Cebu, Cuizon added.
Cuizon said other transport groups in Cebu had not expressed intention to join the nationwide transport strike.
The upcoming two-day transport strike will be Piston’s 3rd for 2017 to protest the Department of Transportation’s looming jeepney modernization program.
Piston Cebu's coordinator said protest centers will be set up in Cebu City, Mandaue City, and Lapu-Lapu City, where Piston members will hold mini rallies carrying placards that will show their opposition to the modernization program.
“We don’t want to cause inconvenience to the public so we instead decided to hold programs in protest centers,” Perez said. He said the program will not be longer than 3 hours.
Perez said the protest action in Cebu will not paralyze the transport system of Metro Cebu because not all of their members are joining. However, he urged the public to understand the plight of the drivers should they be stranded on the road on their way to school or work.
Meanwhile, Cuizon said his office has not forwarded the result of the October 9 minimum fare increase public hearing to LTFRB head office in Manila.
The Cebu Integrated Transport Service Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Citrasco), the largest transport group in Central Visayas, is asking for a P1 fare increase, while a local group is asking for a P1.50 increase. – Rappler.com