Piston Cebu to hold picket rally outside LTFRB 7; Some Cebu City schools to hold online classes

A LOCAL transport group will hold a picket rally outside the office of Land Transportation and Franchising and Regulatory Board in Central Visayas (LTFRB 7) on Echavez St. in Barangay Lorega San Miguel, Cebu City on Monday, March 6, 2023.

In anticipation of the transport strike, some schools in Cebu City announced on Sunday that they will not hold in-person classes.

Members of the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) Cebu, however, will not join the weeklong transport strike set by groups that operate traditional jeepneys in Luzon starting Monday until March 10.

Cebu Integrated Transport Service Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Citrasco) said Sunday, March 5, that it was still contemplating whether they will continue to stage a transport strike against LTFRB 7 Director Eduardo Montealto Jr. and force him to leave his post.

Last week, Citrasco chairman Ryan Benjamin Yu announced that they are planning to hold a transport holiday against Montealto as the regional director “gives all the headaches” to transport groups because the official had put on hold the applications from traditional jeepney operators and had been creating franchises that did not undergo the due process, among other reasons.

Citrasco currently has 800 members operating in Central Visayas.

For Piston Cebu, its leader Greg Perez said on Sunday that their picket rally is enough to show support to their fellow drivers who will participate in the national transport holiday.

The transport group will urge the LTFRB to approve its seven-point demand that it filed before the agency last Feb. 20.

Among the seven demands is for the LTFRB central office to suspend the mandatory franchise consolidation that requires all public utility vehicle drivers and operators to join a “consolidated entity” to be allowed to operate.

The transport strike of drivers and operators in Luzon is related to the phaseout of traditional jeepneys.

The LTFRB central office has given individual operators of traditional jeepneys until Dec. 31, 2023, to join a cooperative or corporation for them to be granted a provisional authority for franchise. They cannot operate if they cannot comply with the directive.

Forming a cooperative or corporation is part of the national government’s modernization program of public utility vehicle.

Meanwhile, University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R), University of San Carlos (USC) and Cebu Normal University (CNU) announced on their respective Facebook pages on Sunday that they are implementing either full online or flexible learning modalities due to the nationwide transport strike.

USJ-R asked its teachers to conduct their classes online through its learning management system. Teachers whose internet connection is unstable may come to the campus, it said.

USC also announced that it will adopt a fully online learning modality at all levels on Monday.

As for CNU, it announced that all “colleges and campuses are to implement flexible learning modalities” on March 6-10 “to avoid disruption of learning.” (KJF, KAL)