Brace for transport strike today, commuters told
At least three major transport groups and individual operators will hold rallies to protest the administration’s planned phaseout of old jeepneys and UV express units.

Brace for transport strike today, commuters told

Romina Cabrera (The Philippine Star) - September 30, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Commuters should brace for possible harder trips in Metro Manila and nearby areas as jeepney and UV Express drivers will go on a nationwide transport strike today.

At least three major transport groups and individual operators will hold rallies to protest the administration’s planned phaseout of old jeepneys and UV express units.

The transport holiday will be led by the Stop and Go Coalition, Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON) and Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO).

There are around three million jeepney riders in Metro Manila alone who may be affected by the strike.

Around 2,000 UV Express operators in the metropolis are expected to take part in the transport holiday.

ACTO president Efren de Luna said they were not opposing modernization in the transport sector, but the requirements set by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

He dismissed the LTFRB’s warning that it would cancel the franchises of PUV operators who would take part in the strike.

During last year’s transport strike, thousands of commuters were left stranded that prompted Malacañang to suspend classes.

The strike was in protest of the government’s public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program, which could take thousands of jeepneys and UV express units off the road.

The government has set a phaseout deadline by July 1 next year.

Last week, the LTFRB cancelled the certificates of public convenience and franchises of at least 20 PUV operators and drivers who took part in the 2017 transport strike.

Stop and Go president Jun Magno vowed to fight the planned phaseout of old jeepneys.

Classes suspended, number coding lifted

Some local government units in Metro Manila suspended classes today amid the possible impact of the transport strike on commuters.

Classes in public and private schools were cancelled in the cities of Manila, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Pasay and San Juan.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) also lifted the unified vehicular volume reduction program or number-coding scheme.

Buses to ply jeepney routes

The MMDA allowed city buses to ply jeepney routes to transport commuters affected by the transport holiday.

A total of 106 buses and two military trucks would service passengers in nine key areas in Metro Manila, according to Edison Nebrija, MMDA’s EDSA traffic and discipline zone head.

Nebrija said the vehicles would be deployed in the following areas: in front of the Manila Central University in Monumento, Caloocan; SM City Marikina; Quirino Grandstand in Manila; HK Sun Plaza in Pasay City; 1 Technohub on Commonwealth, Avenue and Jordan Plains in Quezon City; MMDA central office in Makati; Armed Forces of the Philippines headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo, and Valenzuela City gateway complex. – With Ghio Ong

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