Bacolod cops on high alert for SONA, transport strike

The Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) here is on high alert for possible protest actions during the second State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday, coinciding with the kickoff of the three-day nationwide strike organized by Metro Manila-based transport groups. Col. Noel Aliño, BCPO director, said on Sunday that “Team BCPO is 100 percent ready for the SONA.” “The civil disturbance management team is on standby and ready for any untoward incident. BCPO will exercise maximum tolerance and ensure the safety and security of Bacolodnons,” he added. Aliño said that in coordination with the city government, the BCPO will also deploy vehicles to assist commuters who may be affected by the transport strike, although majority of public utility jeepney operators here have announced they are not joining the “untat byahe.” These include the Sentrong Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Negros and the Federation of Bacolod City Drivers Association. The Metro Manila transport groups are protesting the Dec. 31, 2023 deadline for the consolidation phase of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program, claiming they are being deprived of routes under the new local public transport route plan. City Administrator Pacifico Maghari III said there is “no specific group joining the strike” on Monday. “Most of the transport leaders told us they will not participate in gratitude to the efforts of Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez for helping them out in the issuance of the provisional authority (PA) from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board,” he added. In Bacolod, almost 1,300 traditional jeepneys have been granted the PA until the end of the year. Maghari said commuters who might be stranded can avail of free rides through the mobile vehicles that will be deployed by the BCPO. The Team BCPO “Libre Sakay” service will be dispatched in specific locations covered by all 10 police stations in the city. (

Source: Philippines News Agency