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Surigao joins nationwide tigil-pasada, LGU prepares contingency plan

Transport group Pinag-Isang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) Surigao del Norte Chapter announced today its plan to join the nationwide transport strike on March 31, 2011 against the continued price increases of fuel.

PISTON Chairman Joel Albarando said the mass protest will commence at 5:00am tomorrow and will end at 5:00pm.

According to Albarando,the local federations and operators of tricycles, multicabs and vans are expected to join the strike. Other militant groups such as Gabriella and Kadamay-Surigao del Norte Chapter are also expected to join.

He said the local operators and drivers are now having a hard time enduring the recent price adjustments.

Albarando said their group is calling the Aquino government to junk the oil deregulation law and remove the value-added tax (VAT) on oil products. The oil products have gone up since the recent political turmoil in the Middle East.

Meantime, City Mayor Ernesto Matugas has already prepared a contingency plan for tomorrow’s strike.

In an emergency meeting held this morning, Matugas ordered the concerned departments to implement measures to ensure there would be minimal inconvenience to the public.

Matugas said he already instructed the local police to heightened police visibility to maintain peace and order and prevent striking transport groups from coercing other drivers who continue to ply their routes.

The City Engineering Office will provide free ride to those stranded commuters while the city’s Quick Action Response Team (QART), Civil Security Unit and City Traffic Officers are also on standby.

Though the city mayor respects the rights of the transport group, he appealed to them not to aggravate the situation and conduct their strikes peacefully and orderly.

“I am appealing to the strikers to conduct their strikes peacefully and orderly,” said Matugas. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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