Gov’t contingency plans in place for 7-day transport strike

Gov’t contingency plans in place for 7-day transport strike

MANILA – The Marcos administration has prepared a contingency plan to lessen the impact of the planned weeklong transport strike on the commuting public, Malacañang said Friday.

Despite the assurance that 94 percent of jeepney drivers are not joining the transport group strike, the administration is prepared to help commuters who will be affected by the disturbance, Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil said in a statement.

Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Hubert Guevarra presided over an inter-agency meeting with various government agencies to come up with plans to help commuters who will be affected by the transport strike that will start on March 6.

“The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) reported that only about six percent of the public utility vehicles nationwide are expected to join the transport strike,” Garafil said.

Garafil said the Philippine National Police (PNP) will deploy personnel to monitor the situation as well as maintain order in affected routes.

The PNP would also mobilize its regional assets, including 41 transport vehicles, to ferry affected commuters to their destinations, she added while the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) would provide concerned agencies, such as the Department of Transportation (DOTr), a command center to help monitor traffic status.

“The MMDA, PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which will also be mobilizing around 106 of its transport vehicles to help commuters, will be coordinating with each other in monitoring the situation on the ground,” she said.

The MMDA and the DOTr will also be closely coordinating for the possible suspension of the number coding scheme in Metro Manila during the strike, Garafil said.

According to reports, transport group Manibela is the only UV Express transport organization that would stage the transport group strike in Metro Manila to contest the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

The June 30 deadline for the consolidation of guidelines — not for the phaseout of traditional jeepney units — has been moved to Dec. 31 but Manibela said the strike will push through just the same.

“The deadline is for the consolidation, urging the drivers to come together, consolidate as one, and start the formation as a cooperative in pursuit of the modernization,” LTFRB chairperson Teofilo Guadiz III said during the Senate Committee on Public Affairs hearing on Thursday.

On Wednesday, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said the implementation of the PUVMP is necessary but needs more discussions among stakeholders, particularly jeepney drivers’ groups.

He said the PUV modernization program needs to be implemented “in a different way”. (PNA)

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