Iloilo, Philippines – Amid the three-day nationwide transport strike that began Monday, transport cooperatives in Iloilo, including members from Guimaras, Antique, and Aklan, have decided to continue operations, ensuring the availability of both modernized and traditional jeepneys for commuters.
According to Philippines News Agency, president of the Western Visayas Transport Cooperative (WVTC), all their members are operational, despite receiving threats from unconsolidated groups, particularly at the Mohon terminal in Arevalo district. Parcon has requested assistance from the Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO) for security at the terminal. He reassured that WVTC is prepared to augment services if necessary to avoid passenger strandings.
WVTC operates 65 modernized buses and over 100 consolidated traditional jeepneys from various terminals in Iloilo City and neighboring areas, including Miagao, San Joaquin, Dingle, Dumangas in Iloilo; Kalibo, Aklan; and Antique. Parcon emphasized that commuters need not worry as all units are fully deployed, and they have requested additional security from the city government and police.
Meanwhile, Metro Iloilo Transport Service Cooperatives (MITSCOOP) board chairperson Josemarie de los Reyes confirmed that their operations are also in full swing, with no reports of any disruptions. MITSCOOP manages 237 modernized units and over 200 traditional jeepneys, serving routes from various terminals in Iloilo City and towns in Iloilo province.
De los Reyes mentioned that while traditional jeepney operators have not joined the strike, drivers have the choice not to work. He added that MITSCOOP has over 60 standby units ready for deployment to cater to any stranded passengers, ensuring minimal impact on commuters.
The Western Visayas Alliance of Transport Cooperatives and Corporations, Inc. (WVATCCI), with 28 modernized units and 270 traditional jeepneys, along with the Alliance for Peace Sustainable Development Transport Cooperative, also declared their non-participation in the strike.
PSTMO head Jeck Conlu reported that passenger influx remains manageable, with the city government providing six L-300 vans and two mini buses for city government employees and stranded commuters. Additional service vehicles from the Bureau of Fire Protection and Philippine National Police offer free rides, while Hilux patrols monitor terminals and assist in traffic flow.
The provincial government of Iloilo has deployed vehicles at various terminals to cater to their employees and other passengers, further ensuring smooth public transportation amidst the strike.