Jeepney strike in Cebu ineffective

CEBU CITY — The transport strike on Monday led by the  Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) failed to paralyze Cebu City, said City Councilor Dave Tumulak.

The Cebu City Transportation Office noted that about 80 percent of passenger utility jeepneys (PUJ) were plying the streets and not a single commuter was stranded. However, the office did not give the exact number of PUJs registered in the city.

“We (city government) have not received any report of stranded passengers,” Tumulak said. “This only proves that the strike was not able to paralyze the transport of commuters in the city.”

Tumulak said the city government has prepared 15 public buses and tapped the assistance of Ceres Bus Line for the affected riding public.

“I guess we won’t be needing theses buses anymore as we have more than enough PUJs plying the streets,” Tumulak said.

Greg Perez, Cebu coordinator of Piston, which spearheaded the strike, even admitted that their protest action did not paralyze the traffic in the city.

Perez said Piston-Cebu did not intend to paralyze transport but just wanted to express their concerns, especially on the phasing out of jeepneys 15 years old and over.

Piston-Cebu, likewise, did not get the support they needed from the public as less than a hundred only joined their protest rallies in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu.

Among those who joined the strike were from the Kilusan ng mga Mambubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) – Cebu and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) – Central Visayas.

However, Perez denied that Piston is not part of any plot to destabilize the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, saying that the leftist groups joining the protest are just showing their support to their cause.

A retired university professor, meanwhile, commented that no cause would succeed without the public’s support.

“You can mount as many protest strikes or rallies you want. But you would never succeed unless you have the public behind you,” said the professor, who only wanted to be known as Mr. Bacalla, told the Philippine News Agency while observing Piston’s gathering along P. Del Rosario St. here.

“Those old jeepneys, most are dilapidated anyway, really have to go,” he said.

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