The two-day nationwide transportation strike against the government's jeepney modernization program that was to start today has been called off, Diego Malacad, United Negros Drivers and Operators Center secretary general, said yesterday.
Malacad said the strike was called off following Senator Grace Poe's assurance that a Senate hearing on their concerns will be held, which he called an initial victory for the transport group.
Today, UNDOC willinstead hold a caravan against the government's jeepney modernization program, starting from the old Bacolod Airport in Barangay Singcang at 10 a.m. and ending at the north terminal in Barangay Bata where a boodle fight will be held at about noon.
The Bacolod police and the Bacolod Traffic Authority Office will provide motorcycle escorts for the caravan to ensure the smooth flow of traffic, a statement from the Office of the Mayor said.
UNDOC was set to join the nationwide strike today, but the SentrongSamahanngTsuper at Operators ng Negros had no plans of joining because they only learned of the strike on Friday and had not prepared for it , Jessie Ortega, its secretary general, said.
Malacad said UNDOC received a memorandum from their national counterpart yesterday that the two-day strike was called off.
George San Mateo, president of the PinagkaisahangSamahanngmgaTsuper at Operator Nationwide, said they called off the strike on the request of Poe for the group to talk to the Senate about their jeepney modernization concerns.
Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said a public hearing on their concerns will be held onThursday, with Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade invited to attend, Malacad said.
“We were told the Senate will hold marathon hearings on our concerns,”Malacad added.
They are hoping the PUV modernization program will be scrapped, he said.
PISTON wants the government to rehabilitate existing jeepneys instead of having them replaced with newer ones. The modernization program is expected to start in January.
There will be no cancellation of classes and work at government offices in Bacolod on Monday, Mayor EvelioLeonardia said earlier.*CPG
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