By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz
MANILA – Most public transportation routes in the National Capital Region (NCR) returned to normal operations on Tuesday, with no reports of stranded passengers so far, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Tigil Pasada (IATF-TP) said.
In an update, the IATF-TP noted isolated cases of rallying in some parts of the NCR, namely at the Heritage in Baclaran, Old Terminal in Alabang, Monumento in Caloocan City, and Catmon/St. Francis Street in Malabon.
Those affected by the strike on Monday were assisted by local government units (LGUs) and various government agencies, resulting in the strike failing to cause a “major disruption.”
In his report to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the Office of Civil Defense on Monday, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair Romando Artes said the combined efforts of these LGUs and the national government served a total of 4,794 passengers from 130 vehicles mobilized.
“The agencies and LGUs that served the highest number of passengers were the MMDA, the City of Manila, and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB),” Artes said.
He added that there were no reported incidents requiring emergency preparedness and asset deployment.
The strike, which was organized by the Manibela group, opposed the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) that would replace old jeepneys and other PUVs with safer and more efficient vehicles.
The group said the program would cost them their livelihood and that the government did not consult them enough.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said he supports the PUVMP but wants more talks with the stakeholders, especially the drivers’ groups.
Marcos said the program is good for the public transportation system and the environment but it should be fair and proper for the drivers and operators.
On Monday, the LTFRB reported that the transport strike affected about 10 percent of all public transport routes in the NCR and about 5 percent nationwide.
“Libreng sakay” (free ride) vehicles and rescue buses were able to serve these affected routes, resulting in the strike having little effect on commuters. (PNA)