Caraga transport groups warned against joining strike

The LTFRB warned it would not  tolerate transport operators in the five Caraga provinces who would join a transportation strike on Monday to oppose implementation of the government’s public utility service (PUV) modernization program. COURIER FILE PHOTO

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) warned on Thursday that it would not tolerate transport operators in the five Caraga provinces who would join a transportation strike on Monday, September 30.

Maria Kristina Cassion, officer-in-charge of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Caraga, reminded transport groups that their public transportation franchises carry an obligation not to cause inconvenience to commuters and jeopardize public safety.

“While it is the right of every individual to peaceably assemble, to petition the government for a redress of grievances and, for that matter, to organize or form associations for purposes not contrary to law, as well as to engage in peaceful concerted activities, this is not absolute,” Cassion said.

The planned massive transport strike on Monday is spearheaded by major transport groups Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization (ACTO) and Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (Piston) to oppose the proposed phaseout of jeepneys and UV express service vehicles next year as part of the government’s public utility service (PUV) modernization program.

Cassion appealed to the participating groups to dissuade from pushing through with the strike, urging them to participate instead in a dialogue with the government “to resolve the issues and concerns” on the implementation of the PUV modernization program.

“There are certainly many more ways for us to resolve the issues and concerns relative to the PUVMP, such as our monthly “Kapihan sa RFRO-Trese,” or you can visit our office during working hours and days,” she said.

Cassion also reminded transport groups, cooperatives, operators and drivers that a mass transport strike would violate the terms of the franchises granted by the government under item no.3 of the 2011 LTFRB Revised Terms and Conditions of CPC.

Under the memorandum, a demonstration of protest against any government decision or action will be “under pain of suspension or cancelation of the authority to operate granted by the Board, nor shall the PUV operator tolerate, allow, or authorize personnel to join others in committing acts prejudicial to the riding public, including, but not limited to, paralyzing transport services by intimidation, coercion, or violence.” By CLC

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