Bukidnon transport groups join nation-wide strike

MALAYBALAY CITY – Bukidnon transport groups also joined the coordinated transport strike Thursday with barricades in Malaybalay and Valencia cities.

The Solidarity of Transport Alliances in Region X (STAREX)/Piston staged ‘Tigil Pasada’ or transport strike in both cities Thursday morning.

But it managed only to paralyze transportation from 7 to 9 a.m. in Valencia City, where close to 300 persons, including motor cab drivers joined a barricade at the junction in downtown Valencia City. Traffic was stopped but it returned to normal two hours later when motorcab drivers dispersed.

Pacifico Estore Jr of UMBN Radyo Ukay Valencia reported that motorcab drivers, who were demanding approval of the city government for a P1 increase in fare, were a big force in the crowd. A city official spoke to the drivers that the ordinance for the increase is already at the City Council.

Members of the OGYON laborers’ group and the Buffalo-Tamaraw-Limus Association in Musuan, Maramag, Bukidnon also joined the barricade.

Rolando “Bodex” Garcia, federation president of Piston/STAREX Bukidnon appealed for public support of the strike on Radyo Ukay. The group has demanded for rollback of petroleum prices and the repeal of the oil deregulation law.

“We must also show our protest in the local scene, it’s not enough (to hold transport strike) only in Manila,” he said.

In Malaybalay City, there was a barricade in between 7 to 8a.m. along the highway near the public market but DXMB radio reported it was called off.

In the morning, the groups Bayan Muna and Gabriela staged a march along Fortich Street and a rally at the Plaza Rizal until close to noon.

Some motor cab  drivers told this reporter many of them were hesitant to join because of graduation rites in most of the schools in the two cities, including the Bukidnon State University on March 31. (Walter I. Balane)

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