The more than 7,000 members of the United Negros Drivers and Operators Center are planning to stage a transport strike on August 19 after the latest round of fuel price increases yesterday.
A day after President Benigno Aquino III delivered his fourth State of the Nation Address, Petron, Pilipinas Shell, Chevron Philippines and Seaoil hiked their prices by 50 centavos for gasoline, 35 centavos for diesel and 50 centavos for kerosene per liter, citing adjustments in the international oil market.
UNDOC secretary general Diego Malacad said the successive oil price increases are too much for them to bear.
Aside from UNDOC, other militant organizations are also set to join the protest, Malacad said.
As to the filing of a petition for a fare hike, he said, they are leaving that decision to their mother organization, the Pinag-isang Samahang Tsuper at Operators Nationwide.
Members of UNDOC are set to meet with other stakeholders, including the Bacolod Diocese, on Tuesday to inform them of the planned strike, Malacad said.
The Federation of Bacolod City Drivers Association, Alliance of Concerned Transport Integration Organization Negros, and the Sentrong Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators-Negros will also meet this week to discuss the possible holding of a transport strike.
Elizabeth Katalbas, president of FEBACDA, said it is high time that transport organizations unite against the fuel price increases.
Jesse Ortega, secretary general of SSTON, said they filed a petition asking the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Region 6 to re-implement the provisional 50 centavo fare increase for the first five kilometers.
Ortega said a hearing for the petition is scheduled in Bacolod City next Friday.*APN