Pangasinan jeepney drivers skip transport strike

DAGUPAN CITY — Jeepney drivers here and in other parts of Pangasinan did not join Monday’s transport strike staged by the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON).

This was bared by Benny Aquino, president of the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization Provincewide (AUTOPro), saying that they received no word from their national president regarding their participation in the strike.

AUTOPro is affiliated with the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO) headed by Efren de Luna who earlier said the latter will not join PISTON’s nationwide strike.

De Luna, in an interview early Monday before the local station over Bombo Radyo Dagupan called on their members in Dagupan and Pangasinan not to join the strike.

De Luna said his group agreed to the call of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for as long as the existing jeepneys are modernized and rehabilitated for the comfort and safety of commuters and that they would not be phased out from the roads.

He criticized PISTON for opposing the modernization program without proposing any alternative measure to the government regarding the matter.

De Luna maintained that only dilapidated jeepneys would be phased out and operators of the same would be given the chance to apply for loan by the government to buy modern jeepneys such as those models presented by DOTr and no capital would be coming out from them.

In Dagupan, Rolly Dioquino of Calasiao town, said operations of jeepneys in the town remain normal despite the suspension of classes and work in government offices nationwide.