MANILA, Philippines – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has disregarded the three-day strike that will be held next week in various parts of the country by the transportation group Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper in Opereytor Nationwide (Piston), saying it is able to have minimal impact.
Several transportation groups in Central Visayas said they will not join the nationwide strike that will last from Monday to Wednesday, LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III said in a statement Saturday.
Guadiz disclosed that Regional Director Ed Montealto of the LTFRB Central Visayas Regional Office forwarded to his office copies of the manifestos of various transportation groups demonstrating their commitment not to join the transportation strike.
“We strongly believe that joining a transportation strike or any form of activity that will impede the mobility of our services is not in the best interest of our organization, community and the entire transportation system,” the manifestos of the transportation cooperatives under Kaluha Twin Trading & Services Corp. said. , LUTG Lapu Lapu City United Transport Group and Cebu Federation of Transportation Cooperatives.
According to LTFRB spokeswoman Celine Pialago, the agency will issue special permits to drivers and operators serving “routes 8 to 12” in Metro Manila that will be affected by the strike.
Local authorities and other agencies will also provide free travel to commuters.
Based on Guadiz’s meeting with regional directors, the LTFRB chairman assessed that Piston’s three-day strike would not have “major consequences” like the previous Manibela (Malayang Alyansa ng Bus Employees at Laborers) nationwide strike last month. “I cannot recommend the suspension of classes or work because from our recent experience with the strike, given the same scenario, there was no impact and both private and public sector work as well as classes should continue.” Guadiz said.
In an interview with CNN Philippines, Pialago said Guadiz appealed to Piston to end the planned strike.
“If they respond positively, that’s good, but if they continue doing this, there is still a possibility of losing the franchise or having their franchise suspended,” she warned.
However, on Saturday, Piston Mody president Floranda firmly stated that the three-day strike would be carried out despite the LTFRB’s appeal to cancel it.
He said about 100,000 Piston members and their local federations would take part in a transport strike to protest the Dec. 31 deadline for franchise consolidation under the government’s public utility vehicle modernization program.