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(From Philippine Daily Inquirer)
Byline: Christian V. Esguerra, Tina Santos and the PDI Bureaus
A JEEPNEY strike crippled yesterday public transport in a number of cities and towns across the country, but it fizzled out in other areas because of the 75-centavo fare increase that Malacanang approved on the eve of the nationwide protest.
The lifting of the "color coding" scheme, the fielding of government vehicles, including Army trucks, and the end of classes helped cushion the impact of the strike in Metro Manila, according to authorities.
Officials in Cebu City persuaded jeepney drivers into calling off the mass action with gifts of rice and canned goods.
But reports reaching the Inquirer showed that at least 90 percent of public transport was paralyzed in Angeles City and several towns in Pampanga, Southern Tagalog, Aklan, northern Cebu and the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Butuan and Davao.
Thousands of workers at the Clark Special Economic Zone in Pampanga were stranded and failed to report for work.
Nevertheless, the Philippine National Police said the situation was "generally peaceful" in Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bicol, Western Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao, Central Mindanao and Caraga where the transport strike took place.
In Tagum City in Davao del Norte, police dispersed protesters, according to a spokesperson of the militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in Southern Mindanao.
Other reports said stones were hurled at non-striking drivers in Angono and Binangonan towns in Rizal, and that spikes were scattered on the national highway in Misamis Oriental to force public utility vehicles to stop plying their routes.
Members of the …