LTO dialogue with Piston halts strike
Yesterday’s transport strike failed to cripple transportation in Cebu City, although some 30 percent of commuters in other parts of Metro Cebu suffered from inconvenience which government buses and even motorcycles-for-hire helped address.
The rally, which was planned as a whole day activity fizzled out by noon and didn’t have much effect on Cebu City, said Cebu City Traffic Operations Management Office (Citom) operations chief Joy Tumulak.
“It’s just normal. Traffic man gihapon ang atong kadalanan (There was still heavy traffic),” Joy said.
There were no reports of jeepney drivers being forced to join the rally by the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) Cebu chapter.
The rally ended at noon although it was planned for the whole day after Piston-Cebu’s dialogue with Land Transportation Office (LTO-7) Director Arnel Tancinco.
It was the first dialogue between LTO and Piston-Cebu which already held three protest rallies since June.
Piston leaders present during the dialogue were Eugene Goilan, Giovanni Rosales and their group coordinator Greg Perez. They questioned the continuing implementation of the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 2014-01 which imposes higher fines for violations.
“I can’t answer your questions since there are higher authorities who made and implemented it,” said Tancinco, assuring to raise the group’s concerns with the LTO Central Office.
He suggested a seminar on JAO for Piston Cebu members so they would better understand it, and the group leaders agreed. The transport leaders also promised to help report colorum vehicles, something which Tancinco was happy about.
The discussion ended at 12:30 p.m.
At around 11 a.m. yesterday, Citom personnel had to ferry stranded passengers at the boundary of barangay Talamban, Cebu City and Mandaue City.
Citom personnel also distributed bottles of water to protesters.
“We also understand that they had to walk for five kilometers that’s why we gave them water,” Tumulak said.
Of the city’s 28 Kaohsiung buses on standby, only seven were used.
But in Lapu-lapu City, about 30 percent of public transport was affected so some workers at the Mactan Export Processing Zone struggled to get a ride.
Frank Brazil, head of Lapu-Lapu’s City Traffic Management Services (CTMS), saw a huge effect of the strike at the terminal in barangay Pajo.
“Wala ko magtuo nga ma-paralyze nila ang PUJ terminal diha sa Pajo pero maayo nalang kay naa man ta’y back-up nga mga government vehicles (I didn’t expect they would be able to paralyze operations at the terminal, but luckily we had government vehicles),” said Brazil.
Still, many passengers were still not able to catch the free ride and were forced to get a taxi or cancel their appointments.
In Mandaue City, Felix Suico, the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer (CDRRMO), claimed that about five to 10 percent suffered from the strike.
Elpedio and Mariana Cabahug, a couple from barangay Canduman, said they learned about the strike from the news but were confident on getting rides from government vehicles.
“Ganiha ra mi og atang diri sakyanan sa gobyerno pero tagsa ra man moagi unya puno pa gyud pirmi (We waited a long time for government vehicles but there’s too few of them, and all full of passengers),” Mariana said.
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