LEGAZPI CITY – The first day of the transport strike called for by the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (PISTON) on Monday did not paralyze the public transport system in Albay province as two groups opted to shun the protest action.
"Although we sympathize with the sentiments of our friends in the transport sector, we still believe that there are other effective ways to address our grievances," Alex Bañares, Tabaco-Legazpi Transport Cooperative (TALETRANSCO) president, said in a statement. He added that they would continue to serve the public.
The Bicol Intercity Transport Cooperative (BITCoop) also refused to join the transport stoppage, citing the need to give the public a safe and orderly transport service.
"Bilang isang responsableng organisasyon sa transportasyon, naiintindihan namin ang kahalagahan ng aming papel sa komunidad at nangako kaming siguruhin hindi maantala ang aming serbisyo (As a responsible transport organization, we understand the importance of our role in the community and are committed to ensuring our service is not interrupted) BITCoop said in a separate statement.
Meanwhile, the Police Regional Office-5 (Bicol) is providing free transportation services to the public throughout the planned three-day strike.
"At least 100 Philippine National Police (PNP) vehicles are deployed across the region to transport passengers to their respective destinations. An additional 127 patrol cars are assigned for security and safety operations," Lt. Col. Malu Calubaquib, PRO5 spokesperson, said in an interview.
"There will be a deployment of personnel on the ground to ensure the safety of the public. These will include foot and mobile patrol, border control, and police presence," she added.
Calubaquib also said the Civil Disturbance Management Team has been activated, ready to respond promptly to any unforeseen incidents that may arise during the protest action. (PNA)