By Reynard Magtoto
LEGAZPI CITY – After rejecting petition letters of transport associations against rerouting scheme here, Condor-Piston Bicol consolidated its member drivers and operators to hold one-day transport strike to demand the restoration of original routes.
Public transportation in the province was paralyzed on Tuesday by 95% of jeepney drivers and operators while others hold picket and noise barrage in Camarines Sur and Sorsogon to show support.
Legazpi City Police Station already issued indefinite traffic rerouting dry run for jeepneys and UV express plying within Legazpi City on September 4. This is also to give way fro the new SM Mall’s costumers.
However, jeepney drivers and operators from 3rd District of Albay raised great protest in the new scheme which is already over a month now.
In the new scheme, all PUJs from 3rd District entering Legazpi City shall pass through Rizal Street; go straight to Lapu-Lapu Street; right turn to Quezon Avenue; go straight to Embarcadero and Gov. Forbes Street; left turn to Ramon Santos Street; left turn to Quezon Avenue; right turn to L. Los Baños Avenue; right turn to Circumferential road; cross F. Imperial Street and straight to Landco road; right turn to Landco Access road to enter Legazpi City Grand Terminal; then exit at Terminal road 1; cross B. Imperial Street to enter former St. Jude Catholic Church; left turn to Barriada road; left turn to 5th Street; right turn to Imelda C. Roces Avenue; right turn to Lakandula Drive; left turn to Gogon-Bonot bypass road; left turn to Daraga-Legazpi diversion road and to their destination.
“We are calling the LGU – Legazpi to restore our original route given by the LTFRB – Bicol,” said Ernesto Reamon, president of Oas Jeepney Operators Association.
Drivers and Operators in Albay are not against the establishment of new mall and the goal to resolve traffic in Legazpi City. But, their livelihood were affected and the commuters specially from the 3rd District.
When afternoon strikes, commuters are required to have to double ride just to go back in the 3rd District.
“By the end of the day, jeepneys are no longer passing here (Rizal Street). Drivers are already passing Gogon-Bonot bypass road. If the commuters are not going to the Legazpi Terminal, they will not able to ride a jeep going back to the 3rd District,” said Ramon Rescovilla of Condor-Piston Bicol.
According to Noel Ginto, driver of Polangui – Legazpi route, their franchise is via Rizal Street and they are now in greater loosing preposition when the rerouting adds to their burden.
“Many of us had been ticketed by police because we are out of route since they don’t know the way of the new route,” Ginto added.
“Previously, when they had a boundary of 600 pesos, their income was over 800 to 1,000 pesos a day. Now they only gained 200 to 300 pesos, sometimes none at all. That’s not enough income because our drivers are below the poverty line,” Reamon said.
According to Rescovilla, they will hold another transport strike if LGU-Legazpi will not resolve their concern. (BaretangBikolnon.com)