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Govt readies sanctions vs operators in strike


Even as it claimed Monday's transport strike by militant groups was a flop, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has started drawing up a list of transport operators who took part in the strike. LTFRB chairman Jaime Jacob said LTFRB teams are now making the rounds of areas affected by the strike to determine who allowed their vehicles to join the protest. "May tao kami nag-iikot ngayon... para matukoy kung sino ang operators na nagpahintulot o nag-encourage sa driver na gamitin ang sasakyan sa welga (We now have teams going around affected areas to determine who are the operators who allowed or encouraged their drivers to join the strike)," Jacob said in an interview on dzBB radio. Also, he said their initial assessment showed the strike failed to paralyze public transport in many areas. "(T)ingin namin di naging malawakan o di naparalisa ng tigil pasadang ito ang karamihan na lugar sa ating bansa (We do not think the strike affected many places)," he said.
He said the LTFRB will enforce Malacañang's earlier warning that the operators who took part in the strike face losing their franchises. Jacob said the LTFRB will write these operators and seek their side on why their vehicles joined the strike. "Ang aming concern yung may-ari o operator dahil ang prangkisa naka issue sa may-ari. Ang condition ng franchise, isa itong pribilehyo, hindi pwede makagawa ng bagay na makaapekto sa public safety o convenience. Ang pagtigil pasada siguradong nakaapekto sa public convenience," he said. (The LTFRB is concerned with the operators because they are the franchise holders. A franchise is a privilege where the holder must not affect public safety or convenience. And taking part in the strike definitely affected public convenience.) When asked if the LTFRB will enforce the Palace's threat to revoke the franchises of operators found taking part in the strike, Jacob said: "Opo, opo, siyempre (yes, yes, of course)." On the other hand, Jacob said the jeeps that could not ply their routes because their drivers were blocked or intimidated should lodge the proper complaints. "Ang naharang magpaharap sila ng complaint. Yan nakalista naman, kung hindi sa amin, sa PNP o LTO, yan hindi damay (Those who were intimidated should lodge a complaint, if not with us, with the Land Transportation Office or the Philippine National Police. They will not be penalized)," he said. — RSJ, GMA News
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