By Nitz Arancon
A TRANSPORT group here is planning on staging a general strike in response to city hall’s anti-smoke belching campaign.
In an interview, Joel Gabatan, National Confederation of Transport Union’s vice president for Northern Mindanao, said some 70 percent of the public transport drivers and operators in the city have called on him to organize a transport strike against the anti-smoke belching tests implemented by the City Local Environment and Natural Resources starting this month.
“Ang gusto nila magwelga kay apektado na kaayo ang ilang biyahe niining kampanya sa Clenro,” Gabatan said.
Gabatan explained that drivers would not ply their routes when Clenro conducts its random smoke belching tests for fear of paying the penalties.
He claimed that no public utility vehicle could pass the low grade standard of smoke belching Clenro has been using.
According to Clenro’s anti-smoke belching campaign, only vehicles that test with 2.5 parts per million can pass.
“Tanan PUJ bagsak anang 2.5 parts per million, walay makapasar ana,” Gabatan pointed out.
Gabatan requested Clenro to delay the implementation of the anti-smoke belching campaign since their members are already facing a phase out anyway. The phasing out of public utility vehicles is part of the implementation of the Public Transport Modernization Act.
For his part, Engr. Armen Cuenca, Clenro chief, said there have already been 280 private and public vehicles that underwent their smoke test since they started earlier this month.
Cuenca said of the 280 vehicles, 138 did not pass while 142 passed the smoke belching test.
He added that they will still continue to implement smoke belching tests despite NCTU’s threat of a city-wide transport strike.
“Tuesday to Friday ra ang atong operation kay sa adlaw’ng Lunes mao na ang atong paglimpiyo sa atong machine nga atong gamiton sa atong smoke belching test,” Cuenca said.