Drivers claim strike successful, but governtent says no

As if staging a strike is a contest, transport groups Piston and Manibela– both opposing the government-imposed Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program– claimed victory in the recent strikes staged in Metro Manila roads precisely against the PUVMP.

But the government quickly disputed such a victory.

Both groups said on Monday they brought the streets of Metro Manila and the Southern Tagalog Region to a standstill in their protest against the PUVMP) with Manibela chair Mar Valbuena claiming the participation of over 100,000 drivers and units. Piston separately claimed nearly 400 jeepney drivers and operators had converged along University Avenue in UP Diliman, with more expected along the way.

Piston said that 80 percent of major routes in Metro Manila, including segments in Cavite and Laguna, have ground to a halt. In Bacolod City, they experienced a 90 percent transport paralysis.

They boasted that stranded commuters dotted the landscape along Commonwealth Avenue and other arterial routes, exacerbating an already strained public transportation system. But schools and universities suspended onsite learning but used online platforms.

Police and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) disputed their claims.

“Kung ang pagbabasehan po ngayon is iyong routinary traffic, tuluy-tuloy po ang traffic, tuluy-tuloy po ang pagsakay ng mga pasahero, wala pong mahabang pila,” LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III said.

Guadiz said his agency mobilized rescue buses in case of vehicle shortage to cater to commuters in key areas in Metro Manila due to the transport strike.

We also looked out for those that would resort to tactics like throwing spikes or harass those who don’t share their opposition to PUVMP

The Metro Manila Development Authority said two-day transport strike failed to disrupt public transport operations. “There was no disruption in public transport. Jeepneys plied their routes smoothly. We did not get to deploy any vehicle out of the 400 that had been prepared for augmentation under ‘libreng sakay’,” MMDA Acting Chair Romando Artes told reporters.

He noted that besides the free rides, the Pasig River Ferry Service was also on standby as alternative transportation in MM.

MMDA did not suspend the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program or number coding scheme.

Meanwhile, PISTON members plying the Baclaran-Divisoria route stayed at the terminal at the Baclaran jeepney station in Paranaque, holding signs condemning the planned phaseout.

A noticeable drop in the number of jeepneys was noticed in Commonwealth Avenue and in Elliptical Road also in Quezon City.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *