By Mar Serrano
LEGAZPI CITY — A militant group in Albay claimed to have succeeded in paralyzing transportation, saying that 85 percent or more than 2,000 jeepney operators and drivers here joined the region-wide strike.
Ramon Rescovilla, deputy secretary general of the Concerned Drivers and Operators (CONDOR-Piston), said the strike which started at 12 midnight on Sunday, stranded thousands of commuters in the 14 towns and three cities of the province.
Commuters affected were mostly government and private employees whose workplaces are located in the cities of Tabaco, Ligao and Legazpi, the central business district of the province, where the regional government center is also situated.
The Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) reported that the suspension of classes in all levels in both public and private schools and universities in the province has cushioned the impact of the transport strike.
Jukes Nunez of APSEMO, in a phone interview, said that aside from the suspension of classes, local government units and other government agencies in strike-affected areas provided free rides to commuters.
Although the two-day nationwide strike was canceled in Metro Manila, the CONDOR-Piston here decided to push through with it because of local concerns which they would like the government to address such as the extension of franchise validity, long overdue request for fare increase, and jeepney modernization program.