Local transport group to stop operation for 3 hours today PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 31 March 2011 16:05

A transport group in the city will momentarily stop its operation from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon today in sympathy to its mother organization in Metro Manila which will stage a protest rally to dramatize their sentiment over the no-action of the national government relative to the continuing increase of fuel prices causing negative effect to the country’s economic situation.

Almost all members of FELTRANZ (Federation of Land Transportation in Zamboanga) led by its president Edwin Mingala are expected to join in today’s “National Day of Protest” against the oil deregulation law that resulted to the series of increases in fuel prices with the government doing nothing about it.

Mingala explained that drivers and operators of public utilities from the different barangays will first march from their respective storages and converge at the Plaza Pershing where a short program will be held expressing disgust over the slow approval on their request for additional fare rate hike in answer to the continuing increase of petroleum products.

However, Mingala further explained that the transport group will still normally operates until 9:00 a.m. and will resume operation after the protest rally.

“We are doing this only to show to the public that the transport sector is really suffering because of the continuing increase of fuel prices. But rest assure that our action today would not affect our services to the public since we will only stop operating from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and normal operation will resume right after the rally,” Mingala said as he stressed that City Hall has granted them the proper permit for the purpose.

The protest rally today is not compulsory which means, jeepney drivers could still continue their operation even during the time when the protest march and rally are being held, Mingala said.
FELTRANZ is composed of 47 transport organizations in the city with almost 7,000 individual members.

In spite of the series of increases in fuel prices, fare rate in the city remains the same for the past years.

The regular fare of each passenger for the first four kilometers is P7.50, a rate which has been in effect for the past two to three years.

In a radio interview yesterday morning,  Mr. George San Mateo, Secretary General of the United Organizations of Public Transportation nationwide, said the national day of protest will be carried out purposely to call the attention of President Aquino to immediately go over the pending House Bill that will counter the existing Oil Deregulation Law.

Mateo said they will not stop fighting for the passage of the House Bill No. 4355 “for we believe that this will help control the abusive big players who are taking advantage the oil deregulation law where the government uses it as an excuse of their no-action in trying to help the transport group in the country.” — Jimmy Villaflores