PISTON: Transport strike paralyzes some jeepney routes in Metro Manila

PISTON: Transport strike paralyzes some jeepney routes in Metro Manila
Transport group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide stage a protest on the first day of the weeklong transport strike on Monday, March 6, 2023.
PISTON / release

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 1:07 p.m.) — A transport group leading the ongoing weeklong strike reported Monday morning that some routes in Metro Manila have been paralyzed, as Malacañang sought to downplay the protest's impact as it said that “there is no disruption except in a handful of routes” in the region.

Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide reported that as of 10 a.m., no jeepneys and UV Express services are plying along some routes including Navotas to Divisoria, Recto, Monumento, Malabon, Pateros-Pasig and Zapote-Paliparan, while 99.9% are not servicing the E. Rodriguez (Cubao-Quiapo, Kalaw-Project 2-3) route.

Majority of jeepneys and UV Express services are not making trips along these routes, according to PISTON:

  • Baclaran Metrobank (90%)
  • Novaliches-Blumentritt (80%)
  • Pasay (90%)
  • Palapala-Imus (70%)
  • Los Baños-Calamba (95%)
  • Calamba (80%)
  • Cabuyao (95%)
  • Antipolo and Junction Crossing (90%)
  • Cogeo-Cubao (80%)

But Joel Bolano, technical division head of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, said only 10% of the routes in Metro Manila were affected by the strike, and free rides provided by the government supposedly addressed this.

Aside from Metro Manila, only Calabarzon is experiencing some disruption in transportation services while normal operations continue in the rest of the country, Bolano said.

While saying that there are normal operations of public utility vehicles nationwide, Malacañang also said that the government has provided free rides for commuters affected by the strike.

It said police have ferried affected passengers from Almar Subdivision in Caloocan to Quezon City, while authorities are also deploying vehicles to cater to passengers along the Dapitan-Baclaran route.

Malacañang said authorities at SM-Crossing Calamba Terminal in Laguna said around 30 passengers were “stranded” there despite “normal” operations of jeepneys along the Calamba-Biñan route.

At least 100,000 jeepney drivers and operators across the country began their strike on Monday prompting local governments to offer free rides to commuters and some schools to shift to online classes as some transport groups demand President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to stop the planned phaseout of traditional jeepneys.

While Malacañang and the LTFRB said a majority of transport groups in the country will not be joining the strike, PISTON president Mody Floranda, whose group is joined by Manibela in the stoppage, told The STAR newspaper that “the success of the strike is not measured on the extent of the mobilization, but the legitimate issue that the drivers and operators are presenting.” — Xave Gregorio

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