MANILA, Philippines – Parts of Luzon saw “100%” participation in the nationwide transport strike on Monday, October 16, as jeepney operators and drivers protest against the government’s public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program.
Based on initial updates given by transport group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) and labor union Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) as of 9:30 am on Monday, several areas reached 100% “paralyzation.” These include:
Metro Manila routes
- all of Makati City
- Novaliches-Malinta via General Lui
- San Fernando
Other routes within Metro Manila also saw huge participation from drivers, according to Piston:
- Gasak, Navotas, Malanday-Recto – 90%
- Retiro, Fairview, Dapitan-Pier via Anda Circle – 90%
- Saliwag-Paliparan – 70%
- Zapote-Paliparan-Alabang – 90%
- Novaliches-Blumentritt – 85%
Piston added that many drivers joined the transport strike in Marikina City, the province of Laguna, and in the areas of Tikling, Binangonan, Antipolo, Taytay, and Sta Lucia in Rizal province.
The transport strike is a 2-day protest that will last until Tuesday, October 17, as jeepney operators and drivers oppose the planned phaseout of jeepneys aged 15 years or older. They argue that it would lead to loss of jobs.
“The phaseout scheme will displace over a million Filipinos in the PUJ (public utility jeepney) industry, drivers, operators, and other PUJ-based informal workers,” said Piston and KMU in a joint statement. (READ: Is the PUV modernization program ‘anti-poor?’)
“It would be also a burden to our commuters with minimum fares rising up to P20 and deregulated hikes through the Ayala-owned Beep automated fare collection system,” they added. (READ: DOTr hits Piston ‘propaganda’ on modernization program)
Malacañang suspended all classes and work in government offices nationwide to spare the public from inconvenience. There is still no word on whether there will be suspensions for Tuesday. – Rappler.com