public transportation

Transpo strike had ‘minimal impact’ on traffic, says MMDA 

Ryan Macasero

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Transpo strike had ‘minimal impact’ on traffic, says MMDA 

STRIKE. Jeepney drivers belonging to the group Manibela, protest in Mendiola during their nationwide transport strike on October 16, 2023.


Most protest activities were limited to Metro Manila and Central Luzon with little impact on traffic

MANILA, Philippines – The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reported that the nationwide transportation strike organized by the jeepney association Manibela had a “minimal impact” on traffic flow Monday morning, October 16.

“The impact on traffic is very minimal, and the impact on our commuters as well, especially during rush hour,” said MMDA’s Romando Artes during an interview on DWPM.

While the MMDA noted that the number of passengers waiting for rides was not unusual, Manibela chairman Mar Valbuena attributed the strike’s seemingly low impact to the cancellation of classes or the shift to remote classes.

“Since they announced that there’s no school, no work, it’s a free ride,” Valbuena said in Filipino. “If they claim that there are only a few of us, that’s actually the effect of suspending classes ahead of time. To truly see the impact of our protest, they should not declare class or work suspensions.”

Must Read

Big jeepney groups skip transport strike, Manibela says protest still successful

Big jeepney groups skip transport strike, Manibela says protest still successful

According to the MMDA, they only counted 25 jeepneys participating in Manibela’s protest in Quezon City, near the University of the Philippines Diliman.

The City of Manila deployed 20 e-trikes, 2 mobile transports, 3 SUVs from their disaster response office, and 18 vehicles from the Manila Police District to provide transportation to stranded passengers.

However, Artes explained on DWPM that it was common to see queues at public transport terminals on weekday mornings.

The transportation strike followed allegations made by Valbuena and Jeff Tumbado, a former official of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). They accused former LTFRB chairman Teofilo Guadiz III of accepting tens of millions in bribes for expediting special permits, franchises, and route modifications. They also claimed that funds from the “lagayan (bribery) scheme” reached officials in the Department of Transportation and even the Office of the President.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista has denied accepting “any money or favor.” The group was also protesting the jeepney modernization scheme.

In a separate report from the local government of Pasig City, no issues with long queues or stranded passengers were reported on Monday morning, despite not canceling classes.

Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto posted on X (formerly Twitter): “Our LGU vehicles are on standby to help passengers. We are also coordinating with the traffic and parking management office (TPMO), MMDA, and the Philippine National Police (PNP).” He noted that only the Quiapo-Pasig route along Shaw Boulevard was affected by the transportation strike in his city.

The Makati City Public Information Office stated that the United Transport Federation of Makati did not participate in the transportation strike. This was why there were classes at all levels, as per a Facebook post by the Makati City government.

The Northern Mindanao Federation of Transport Service Cooperatives (Norminfedtrasco), based in Cagayan de Oro, announced that it would not take part in the mass protest actions for several reasons.

According to a monitoring report by the LTFRB, obtained from a reliable source, most of the protest activities were limited to Metro Manila and Central Luzon.

The LTFRB report documented instances of harassment in Angeles and Mabalacat in Pampanga, where rocks were allegedly hurled at the windshields of several public utility jeeps traveling north on Santa Ines (NLEX), resulting in damage to at least four vehicles.

Commuters were stranded between 30 minutes to 2 hours waiting for free rides in Pampanga

Commuters traveling within the Clark Freeport Zone, and the cities of Mabalacat, Angeles, as well as Capas town in Tarlac province were provided free rides to commuters.

Two hours na akong naghihintay, since 3 pm wala pang dumaan na libreng sakay ng Mabalacat (I’ve been waiting for 2 hours since 3, there was no free ride from Mabalacat,” said Jen.

Makikisiksikan talaga mamaya, humahaba na naman ang pila dito sa boundary. Ang taas ng singil ng mga tricycle. Yun siguro ang hindi naisip ng mga LGUs na bantayan. Kasi para nilang tinake advantage ang sitwasyon eh,” said Lyn.

(The lines of commuters are getting longer here at the Pampanga-Tarlac boundary. Tricycle drivers are overcharging their passengers. The LGUs failed to anticipate this happening. These tricycle are taking advantage of the situation.)

Motorcycles offering habal-habal rides, as well as, tricycles were an option for P50 to P200 per head.

Blue Taxi and Grab cars were also available. However, most commuters still opted for the free ride while others decided to walk home.

The report stated: “After conducting a nationwide assessment of the transport strike/rally organized by Manibela, it is evident that it did not disrupt the public transportation services in the country in any significant way. No considerable number of stranded passengers were reported. The recorded incidents of harassment in Region 3 (Central Luzon) were appropriately and promptly addressed by the local law enforcement in the area. The national government, through the interagency-task force on Tigil Pasada, efficiently executed the contingency measures.” The report was signed by OIC Chairperson Jane Paras Leynes.

Earlier, transport operators belonging to the “Magnificent 7,” national organizations of jeepney drivers, stated that they would not participate in the transport strike initiated by Manibela.

These organizations include Pasang Masda, Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (Altodap), Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston), Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO), Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (Fejodap), Stop and Go Transport Coalition, and Liga ng Transportasyon at Operators sa Pilipinas (LTOP). – with a reports from Patrick Cruz and Joann Manabat/

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Nobuhiko Matsunaka


Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers social welfare for Rappler. He started at Rappler as social media producer in 2013, and later took on various roles for the company: editor for the #BalikBayan section, correspondent in Cebu, and general assignments reporter in the Visayas region. He graduated from California State University, East Bay, with a degree in international studies and a minor in political science. Outside of work, Ryan performs spoken word poetry and loves attending local music gigs. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmacasero or drop him leads for stories at