Romualdez: House, Palace provide 100 ‘Libreng Sakay’ buses for commuters
MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives and Malacañang have collaborated to provide 100 “Libreng-Sakay” buses to aid commuters in Metro Manila affected by the transport strike, Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said on Monday.
Transport groups launched the week-long strike in protest of the government’s jeepney modernization program.
“Through the joint effort of the House of Representatives and Malacañang, we have fielded 100 buses to augment the number of vehicles provided by local governments and other government agencies that would provide free rides to affected commuters,” Romualdez said in a statement.
Romualdez said the “commuters would suffer the most” from the transport strike.
“Cognizant of their difficult situation, we have taken this joint initiative with Malacañang to ensure stranded commuters will have available rides to their work or home,” he added.
Romualdez also noted that the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) was assigned to deploy buses.
He claimed that the first forty-six buses dispatched by the MMDA to service various routes in the metropolis between 8:35 am and 11:01 a.m. on Monday served 1,380 people.
The first batch of 46 buses was deployed in Baclaran-Sucat, Baclaran-Dapitan, SM Sangandaan-Divisoria, Buendia-Guadalupe, Zobel-Roxas-Dulo (Sta. Ana, DOST Bicutan-Sucat, Alabang-San Pedro, Alabang-Calamba, Philcoa-TM Kalaw, BFCT-Cubao, Monumento-Navotas, and Monumento-Malanday as per MMDA’s report.
He stressed that, if necessary, extra vehicles would be sent to provide free rides for the duration of the transport strike.
“It is unfortunate that despite the President’s call for a review of the jeepney modernization program, the transport groups still proceeded with the planned strike,” the top House official said.
He added that the President, his cousin, has “shown that he is sympathetic” to the concerns made by various transportation groups regarding the jeepney modernization program.
Romualdez urged people affected to engage the administration in a genuine dialogue to fix the issue.
“Kawawa po naman ang ating mga commuters na sila ang laging naiipit at nahihirapan tuwing magkakaroon ng ganitong transport strike,” he stated.
(It’s a shame that commuters are always stranded and inconvenienced during such transportation strikes.) – Kimberly D. Albaño, INQUIRER.net intern
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