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Piston-Cebu to hold another 2-day transport strike on Dec. 14-15

By: Pia Piquero - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | December 13,2023 - 07:22 PM

Piston-Cebu to hold another 2-day transport strike on Dec. 14-15

Some members of Piston-Cebu hold a protest along Gorordo Avenue in Cebu City, as part of a transport strike against the PUV Modernization Program. | CDN Photo / Pia Piquero

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Following President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s firm stance on the December 31 deadline for Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) consolidation, Piston-Cebu is set to stage another round of transport strikes from December 14 to 15.

The strike aligns with the nationwide appeal made by its parent organization, Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide, notably known as PISTON.

READ: Why Piston-Cebu joined transport strike

Piston-Cebu prexy: More will join strike

Greg Perez, president of Piston-Cebu, expressed expectations of increased participation among drivers and operators this time around.

“Gaexpect ko nga mas daghan karon kay daghan maangol ani sa December 31, mga drivers, operators,” Perez told CDN Digital on Wednesday, December 13.

(I am expecting more participants (to join the strike) now because many will be hurt with this on December 31.)

The location points of where they will congregate during strike have yet to be determined, pending the coordination meeting. However, there was a plan to meet in the same venue that they used during November 22 strike.

READ: Piston to stage 2-day transport strike

Piston-Cebu exec slams LTFRB

In a statement released by Piston-Cebu on the same day, Perez lambasted the statement of Teofilo Guadiz III, the chief of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB); and Eduardo Montealto Jr., LTFRB-7 Regional Director, that “there is no phaseout” as one consolidates.”

“Bakakon kaayo ang LTFRB. Ang tinuoray: kung magpaconsolidate ang usa ka operator, mawad-an na siya og kontrol sa iyang prangkisa ug sakyanan tungod kay mandato na siya nga isurrender kini sa cooperative o korporasyon,” read in the statement of Perez.

(The LTFRB is a liar. The truth is if the operator will agree to the consolidation, he will lose control of his franchise and vehicle because there is a mandate that he will surrender this to the cooperative or the corporation.)

READ: DOTr firm on December 31 deadline for franchise consolidation of PUVs

Franchise consolidation

A part of the statement further read, “Ang franchise consolidation usa lang ka porma kon giunsa gikwaan sa gobyerno ang mga kabus nga drayber ug gagmayng operator sa ilang panginabuhian aron ihatag kini sa mga daan nang adunahan nga mga dakong negosyante.”

(The franchise consolidation is just one form on how the government removed the livelihood of the driver and the operator so that this will be given to those who were already wealthy and the big businessmen.)

Last November 22, members of the Cebu Chapter of the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (Piston) gathered in four different locations to participate in the nationwide transportation strike.

READ: Piston-Cebu: Over 100 drivers to join nationwide protest against PUV modernization


They were stationed in three locations in Cebu City—P. del Rosario corner Osmeña Blvd; in M.C. Briones corner Juan Luna Street (near SM City Cebu); in front of a hotel in Gorordo Ave. corner Escario St.; and in front of a mall in U.N. Avenue in Mandaue City.

The top reasons for their protest that was participated by more or less a hundred drivers and operators in Cebu were the franchise consolidation requirement and the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization.

Meanwhile, Councilor Rey Gealon, the head of the Traffic Management Committee (TMC), provided assurance that the city would be well-prepared to handle the situation.

READ: Transport strike no effect on access to Cebu City PUVs — traffic czar

Transport strike protocols

“We have a protocol to comply with,” Gealon said, underlining the city’s commitment to following established procedures to manage the transport strike effectively.

Despite the impending strike, Gealon said, “TMC does not see the impending strike as a cause of concern for the city’s residents.”

He said that green buses would be on standby, in case there would be a need to address any urgent transportation needs that might arise.

READ: Transport strike: Cebu City govt to deploy green buses to ferry passengers

Enough vehicles to cater to riding public

“But we are confident that the non-joining drivers of public utility vehicles would be enough to cater to the riding public,” Gealon added.

The councilor further said that traffic enforcers would also be in full force to avoid possible congestion caused by the strike.

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