6,000 cops deployed for transport strike

Nillicent Bautista - The Philippine Star
6,000 cops deployed for transport strike
Public utility jeepneys share the road with electric tricycles along Recto Avenue in Manila yesterday. Transport groups are set to hold a two-day transport strike tomorrow. As for electric bicycles and tricycles, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said they are banned from certain major roads, also starting tomorrow.
Ryan Baldemor

MANILA, Philippines — More than 6,000 police officers will be deployed to ensure public safety and security during a transport strike set tomorrow, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said yesterday.

“The Philippine National Police would deploy more than 6,000 personnel to ensure the safety of protesters and passengers as well as to monitor the peace and order situation,” NCRPO public information office chief Lt. Col. Eunice Salas said in a dzBB interview.

While police officers would be spread across the region, Salas said two cities would be NCRPO’s primary focus.

“We will heavily concentrate on Quezon City and Manila because, during previous transport strikes, many jeepney drivers participated there,” she said.

Salas pointed out that the NCRPO would also roll out over 200 vehicles to provide free rides to affected commuters.

“Team NCRPO is ready for the upcoming transport strike on Monday. Our personnel are all ready for deployment,” she added.

Transport groups Manibela and Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide earlier announced that a nationwide transport strike would be held starting on April 15 in protest of President Marcos’ announcement that there will be no further extension of the public utility vehicle (PUV) franchise consolidation on April 30.

MMDA ready

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) declared yesterday it is ready to assist commuters who might struggle to get rides during the transport strike.

The MMDA and the 17 local government units of Metro Manila will put in place “contingency measures” like deployment of government vehicles that will carry stranded passengers for free, according to MMDA Acting Chairman Romando Artes.

Based on previous experience, the MMDA expects stranded commuters in Novaliches, Anonas, E. Rodriguez and Cubao in Quezon City, Monumento, parts of Malabon and Valenzuela, Pasig City, Taguig City, Sucat to Baclaran, Alabang to Sucat, and Paco to Sta. Mesa in Manila.

Artes said free rides would be sent out if agencies detected a lack of PUVs in certain areas so they would not compete with PUV drivers who would not join the strike.

Some schools in Manila suspended in-person classes due to the upcoming transport strike.

The Universidad de Manila will conduct online classes on April 15.

All campuses of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines would shift to online classes from April 15 to 30, considering the impact of both the transport strike and the dangerous heat index levels. — Ghio Ong

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