CONCEPCION, Tarlac (March 5, 2023) — Concepcion-based jeepney associations will not join the strike starting tomorrow.
This was the announcement by three transport cooperatives in their meeting with Mayor Noel Villanueva and Sangguniang Bayan Committee on Transportation Chairman Jayson Lagman yesterday afternoon in Barangay Sta. Maria.
The Concepcion Angeles, Concepcion-Tarlac, and Concepcion-Capas cooperative transport groups signified their intention to ply their usual routes starting early Monday (tomorrow) morning but asked for security should other transport groups try to stop them.
The transport strike from May 6 – 11, 2023, was called by various transport groups opposed to the national government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program.
The Local Chief Executive assured the jeepney operators and drivers that security would be provided by the local police. He advised the drivers to ready their camera phones and record any harassments that they may encounter on the road.
“Ang importante ay road security. Tarlac walang problema – sa Mabalacat ang crucial point,” Villanueva said.
The 367-strong Concepcion-Angeles Jeepney Operators and Drivers Transport Service Cooperative (CAJODTSC) said they fear their jeepneys will be stopped in the City of Mabalacat, Pampanga.
“Ikinatatakot namin ay ang maaaring maging harassment na gagawin sa amin pagdating sa may Mabalacat dahil maraming independent operators ang nandoon na kasali sa strike,” said Antonino Lansangan of CAJODTSC.
“Kapag nangyari iyo ay mapipilitan din kaming tumigil sa pagpasada,” he added, amid agreements from other drivers and operators plying the Concepcion-Angeles route.
PLtCol. Noriel Rombaoa, this town’s police chief, met with various transport groups here last Friday and assured them they would be on call should other groups harass them.
Villanueva said he would contact other town and city mayors where the jeepneys ply their routes and prepare a contingency plan should the strike become a security issue.
The mayor said that the public would be the ones who would be greatly affected by the transport strike but assured his constituents that the local government would do everything in its power to safeguard the public and help commuters.
“Kung sakaling ma-disrupt ang transportation, hindi maaaring hindi ilabas lahat ng sasakyan ng munisipyo, pati na mga ambulansya,” Villanueva said.
Meanwhile, classes in Tarlac City have been suspended by Mayor Cristy Angeles from March 6 – 10, 2023, in the face of the impending transport strike.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board said that only six percent of public utility vehicles nationwide are expected to join the transport strike.
The transport strike is being spearheaded by Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON) and MANIBELA.
PISTON and Manibela have a combined 170,000 members, which might paralyze transportation in major business centers.