Public jeepney drivers hold holiday amid bigtime oil price hikes

Limited number of passenger jeepneys seen along the road in Barangay Tangub, Bacolod City during the Drivers ‘Holiday Wednesday.’ (Contributed Photo)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – Limited passenger jeepneys were seen plying on the major thoroughfares here yesterday as drivers took a break and joined the Driver’s Holiday amid the series of bigtime oil price hike in the country.

Diego Malacad, secretary general of United Negros Drivers and Operators Center (Undoc), said around 30 percent of the drivers, who are members of the Negros Bacolod Transport Coalition, did not report to their operators as they joined the call for the government to regulate oil prices.

Malacad said the operators could not oblige the drivers to report to work because it’s a holiday for them, thus it’s up to the operators to look for a way to deploy their units.

Malacad said the activity was their way to show to the government that jeepney drivers here and in some parts of Negros Occidental are willing to look for other means to survive.

“Willing sila mag obra sa kampo or sa construction. Ang krudo indi na gid ma agwanta,” Malacad said.

He noted that the driver’s holiday will continue until oil prices decrease or can be regulated, or if the government can act on their concerns.

“Indi lang ni ya gyera sagwa, kundi calamity na gid ni ya,” Malacad said, adding that it already affected everyone and this is “alarming.”

Malacad said they wanted the government to focus on the sentiments of the majority to address the problem.

“Nabatyagan kag nakita naman na nila (government) ang kabudlayan namon,” he added.

Despite the increase in oil price, Malacad noted that fare increase is not a solution to the problem.