By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan
MANILA – The city government of Marikina, in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd), on Friday issued a directive suspending face-to-face classes from March 6-11 in all levels, both in private and public schools.
Posted on their social media account, Marikina Public Information Office (PIO) said the move is in anticipation of the supposed transport strike and its subsequent effect on the commuting public, especially students attending their classes.
“Sa mga araw na mayroong tigil-pasada, ipagpapatuloy ng mga mag-aaral ang kanilang gawain at pag-aaral sa kanilang tahanan gamit ang kanilang modules. Sa mga may kakayahan, maaaring magsagawa ng online classes bilang alternative learning modality. Ayon sa transport groups, ang tigil-pasada sa susunod na linggo ay magsisimula sa Marso 6 [Lunes] hanggang Marso 11 [Sabado], maliban na lamang kung ito ay ihinto bago matapos ang linggo (On days when there is transport strike, students will continue their work and studies at home using their modules. For those who have the ability, online classes can be conducted as an alternative learning modality. According to transport groups, next week’s strike will begin from March 6 [Monday] up to March 11 (Saturday], unless halted before the week ends),” the statement issued by city government of Marikina and DepEd Marikina said.
Meanwhile, the city government of Taguig under the administration of Mayor Lani Cayetano has offered “Libreng Sakay” (free ride) for commuters who will be affected by the transport strike throughout Metro Manila and nearby provinces on March 6-12, 2023, starting at 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Here are the free ride routes:
Route 1: Bagumbayan → Cayetano Blvd. corner General Luna (vice versa)
Route 2. Napindan/Tipas/Sta. Ana → Cayetano Blvd. corner General Luna (vice versa)
Route 3. Waterfun → Market-Market (vice versa)
Route 4. Waterfun → Gate-3 (vice versa)
Route 5. DOST → Market-Market (vice versa)
Route 6. BCDA Petron → Market-Market (vice versa)
Route 7. Cayetano corner Gen. Luna → Petron BCDA
The public is notified that the vehicles to be deployed by the city will have signage that reads “Libreng Sakay hatid ng City of Taguig” (Free Rides courtesy of the Taguig LGU) and will have official logo of the city.
Meanwhile, Philippine National Police spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said the “Libreng Sakay” of PNP mobility assets are ready to be deployed for stranded workers and commuters in anticipation of the potential halt in transport next week.
“Those kinds of free rides are always done by the PNP if it is expected that there will really be difficulty in riding for our countrymen especially if these mass transport strikes continue, the PNP’s mobility assets are on standby and will be released to assist our people and they will be able to ride there and they can reach their destination, their jobs, schools and we already coordinated with the LGUs and their respective LGUs have also committed that they will provide assistance and lend available vehicles for our countrymen who will be affected by transport strikes,” Fajardo told reporters in an online press briefing.
She added the field commanders were already directed to monitor expected rallies. The Civil Disturbance and Management and PNP personnel will be on standby to maintain peace and order.
“Expect the PNP to respect their [strikers] right to express their feelings but always let’s ask them to make sure that they will not break the law and we will enforce what is called maximum tolerance,” Fajardo stressed.
On Feb. 20, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) issued memorandum circular no. 2023-013 which gives public utility vehicle (PUV) operators only until June 30, 2023 to operate via a provisional authority.
Last Monday, various transport groups announced their intention to suspend operations nationwide for a period of one week starting March 6 in protest of the LTFRB’s memorandum. (PNA)