Nationwide Transport Strike Forces Schools to Suspend Classes, Opposes Malacañang Plan

The latest nationwide transports strike in the Philippines forced both public and private school institutions to declare no classes on Monday. The different transport groups that participated on the strike paralyzed majority of the commuters and so even the government offices did not work to avoid any inconvenience.

However, the Malacañang Palace affirmed that the strike would never affect the plan of the current government to modernize the transportation program in the county.

The commitment to pursue the plan is not affected by the latest strike.

“The Administration remains committed to the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP), which is long overdue,” said Ernesto Abella in his statement as quoted by the news online.

He continued saying that, “there were several attempts in the past to modernize the public transport system but these have been thwarted due to similar transport strikes, which unfortunately resulted in an outdated public transport system.”

Ernesto Abella is the current Presidential Spokesperson of Malacañang.

The strike is actually for two days as stated by the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng Tsuper and Operaytor Nationwide (PISTON), which is the main transport group that does not want to accept the modernization program of the government.

In the new scheme or program targeting the Public Utility Vehicles (PUV), the government will phase out those units that are already 15 years and up. They will need to apply for replacement and issued with PUVs that feature eco-friendly systems. PISTON is strongly opposing this idea and believe it will the operators and drivers suffer from the huge expenses they need to repay the loaned vehicle.

In an effort to provide the exact transport assistance to stranded and troubled commuters because of the suspended classes, the government prepared the necessary vehicles available for these people on the roads.

The Presidential Spokesperson revealed the preparedness of the government.

It coordinated with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and some Local Government Units (LGUs) in providing the best transport assistance on Monday.

Of course, the available vehicles are free of cost for all the commuters.


2-Day Transport Strike Begins, Affected Areas Declared No Classed

Due to the scheduled 2-day transport strike of the coalition of the transport groups in the Philippines beginning on Monday (September 25, 2017), there are some classes in different affected schools that will be suspended. This somehow affects the students, but it is as well for their safety in case there are no available transport jeepneys on the roads.

According to the reported news online, some of the areas that will have no classes on Monday include the following:


Manila Areas

  1. Malabon City (all levels both public and private schools)
  2. University of the East (Kinder to Grade 12 in Caloocan)
  3. San Sebastian College (Kinder to Grade 12)
  4. University of the East (Kinder to Grade 12 in Manila)

Bulacan Areas

  1. Baliwag (all levels both public and private schools)
  2. Bocaue (all levels both public and private schools)
  3. Malolos (all levels both public and private schools)
  4. Marilao (all levels both public and private schools)
  5. San Jose del Monte (all levels both public and private schools)
  6. Santa Maria (all levels both public and private schools)

From the shared information about the strike, the transport groups are protesting against that latest plan of the Philippine government to upgrade the transport vehicles as part of the modernization program.

This means that they will already face out the old vehicles under the new plan.

According from Jun Magno, the members of the different groups are worrying about the plan of to government that will offer them loan to acquire new vehicles. Magno is the current head of the Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator ng Pilipinas Genuine Organization (Stop and Go Transport).

Based on the new program, they will no longer register those vehicles over 15 years and need to replace them with the new electric-powered as well as Euro-4-compliant vehicles, as detailed by the news online. The government is willing to lend a driver for almost P1.6 million (proposed package) and payable for 7 years with a daily amortization of 800 pesos.

From the explanation of Magno, drivers may have trouble dealing with the 800 pesos daily payment because most of them are only earning around 600 pesos a day. This means that they still need to add 200 pesos to cover the amortization of a loaned transport vehicle.

He added that it is much better if the government provides them assistance to improve their units and not offering them an expensive loan.

The involved transport groups on the 2-day strike have almost 131 listed groups.

In line with this, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) already prepared free transport services for the areas affected with the strike.