MANILA, Philippines – Led by transport group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston), the first nationwide transport strike began at exactly 12:01 am on Monday, March 19, in Metro Manila and in different provinces.
According to George San Mateo, president of Piston, the nationwide protest was supported by almost 65-75% of militant groups as of 11:24am.
The group reiterated that they support the modernization or rehabilitation of public utility vehicles (PUV), but not the direct phase-out of jeepneys.
“Ito pong modernisasyon ang tinututulan namin, kasi mawawalan po kami ng kabuhayan kapag pinagpatuloy nila ang pagtanggal samin sa kalsada. Ang totoo po niyan ilan beses na po kami nakipagdayalogo sa kanila, hindi naman po tayo hinaharap ng maayos, kasi nakatutok lang sila sa phase-out,” Piston vice president Ruel Obligar told Rappler.
(We condemn the modernization because we will lose our jobs. The truth is that we already had a dialogue with the authorities but they don’t talk to us properly, maybe because they’re really focus on the phase-out)
They also appealed for public support and understanding. (WATCH: Abala ba ang transport strike?)
Government vehicles were deployed for commuters that will be affected by the strike.
Below are some photos of the protest in Manila:
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