[In the news] Strike cripples 80% of PUVs | Sun.Star

Strike cripples 80% of PUVs | Sun.Star.

ABOUT 80 to 85 percent of the Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) in the province were paralyzed Monday, the first day of the transport strike, a drivers’ group official said.

Jessie Ortega, secretary general of United Negros Drivers and Operators Center (Undoc), said members of the federation of Bacolod Drivers Association (Febacda) contributed only about 20 percent of the public transport, which continued to operate Monday as they did not cooperate with the transport strike.

Ortega said they are contented with the result of the strike Monday in protest of the higher prices of petroleum products compared to other provinces.

“Once fuel prices in the province would be reduced to be at par with those in other provinces, we expect that members of Febacda and Action Inc. would still continue to pay for the higher prices because they did not cooperate with us,” Ortega pointed out.

Major universities in the province, like the University of St. La Salle, Colegio San Agustin-Bacolod, La Consolacion College and the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos, also suspended classes after Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra issued a pastoral letter last Sunday and called for cooperation and support for the transport strike.

Ortega said that on Tuesday, they expect more transport operators to cooperate with the protest action by not allowing their vehicles to go out in the streets.

The transport strike will start at 7 a.m. and will end at 2 p.m., as participants from the designated camp-out centers will converge at the Fountain of Justice in front of the Old City Hall for a rally.

Leaders from the transport, business and sugar industry sectors are expected to speak before the protestors.

Meanwhile, Nilo Frias, Undoc assistant secretary general, said they were very disappointed with other drivers who became too selfish by going out with their regular operation Monday, despite the transport strike.

He said they flagged down some of the drivers and educated them about their reasons for holding the transport strike. He said the striking drivers are expecting more support and cooperation from other drivers today. (TED)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on May 17, 2011.

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