MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) In line with the two-day nationwide transport strike on Monday and Tuesday, October 16 and 17, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) regional offices were tasked to prepare for contingency plans to help commuters get to their destinations. (READ: Stranded? Report transportation problems using #CommuterWatch)
However, drivers in the two major metropolitan areas in the Visayas and Mindanao – Cebu and Davao – are not joining the second day of the nationwide transport strike against the government’s planned jeepney modernization program.
The LTFRB will work closely with local government units (LGUs) and concerned government agencies such as the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Highway Patrol Group (HPG), Philippine National Police (PNP), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to minimize the impact of the strike.
In Metro Manila, the Joint Quick Rection Team (JQRT) was created to address the shortage of PUJs (public utility jeepneys) along affected routes, as well as to ensure safety of the riding public and jeepneys that will not participate in the strike. (READ: Jeepney modernization would lead to loss of jobs – leftist group)
Buses will also be deployed in replacement of PUVs (public utility vehicles).
A total of 35 city buses were engaged by LTFRB to help commuters affected by the transport strike in Metro Manila. MMDA also provided 4 military trucks, and 4 buses. The Philippine Coast Guard also gives free rides with 12 light trucks and 4 military trucks.
The Philippine National Railways (PNR) is also preparing for the nationwide transport strike.
“We are on [schedule] with all available trainsets. We aim maintain the 30-minute in-between-trains headway. We should be able to augment the removal of capacity for the jeepney strike, specifically in the southern corridor between Alabang and Tutuban,” PNR general manager Junn Magno said in a text message to Rappler.
What prompted the PUJs to launch a nationwide strike is their opposition to the PUV modernization program. The program launched by the the Department of Transportation (DOTr) mandates the replacement of jeepneys that are 15 years or older.
According to leftist group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), the said program would lead to loss of jobs.
In a statement, Bayan said that the public must understand that a brand new jeepney would cost P1 million and only multi-million companies can afford to follow the said program. (READ: Is the PUV modernization program ‘anti-poor?’) –Rappler.com