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Tricycle drivers go on transport strike

DUMANGAS, ILOILO ,Philippines  —      Around 130 tricycle drivers in Dumangas town, Iloilo, went on a 2-day Untat-Biyahe, a transport holiday, in protest of the bad road condition along the routes they are plying.

The transport holiday, which started yesterday morning and runs until midnight today, will affect residents living in Dumangas' eight barangays: Balabag, Pulao, Sulangan, Bantud Pabrica, Campayan, Patlad, Cayos, and Makina.

Roberto Pama, member of the Balabag-Pulao-Sulangan Tricycle Operators Drivers Association (BPSTODA) board, said his group and the BCPTODA (Bantud-Cayos-Patlad TODA) staged the strike to call the attention of the authorities.

He said they never intended to cripple the transportation of residents of the eight barangays of this town. "Gusto lang namon ipalab-ot sa amon mayor nga talupangdon niya man ang amon sitwasyon (We only want to inform the mayor that he looks at our situation)," Pama said.

Without the passenger tricycles, students and residents are left with few jeepneys to transport them to and from their residences. Some private vehicle owners also car pooled some residents.

Pama said, for several years now, tricycle drivers and commuters have been enduring the bad road condition in the area. "Kung mag-ulan, tama man kalutak. Kung mag tag-ilinit, tama man ka yab-ok (If it rains, it's too muddy; if sunny, it's too dusty)," he said.

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Sulangan, approximately 3 kilometers from Dumangas town proper, is the nearest of the affected villages from the town proper. The area has a cemented road network but this turned into deplorable condition after big trucks from the Dumangas Port also accessed the road. "Lubak-lubak na gid ang dalan (Pot holes fill the road)," Pama said.

Last week, the tricycle drivers' association, through their village officials, already made known their complaint to Mayor Ronaldo Golez.

Golez, citing the subject areas as provincial roads, said he will inform Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. about the matter.     

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