DILG plays down transport strike | Inquirer News

DILG plays down transport strike

Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos (6th from left) meets with the leaders of Transport Group led by Obet Martin (5th from left) on Sunday, October 15, 2023, to discuss about the transport strike by another transport group on Monday. Abalos is joined by Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Acting Chairman Romando Artes (4th from left) and Land Transportation Office (LTO) Chief Vigor Mendoza (7th from left). INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos (sixth from left) meets with the transport leaders led by Obet Martin (fifth from left) on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, to discuss the planned transport strike on Monday. Abalos is joined by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority acting Chairman Romando Artes (fourth from left) and Land Transportation Office chief Vigor Mendoza (seventh from left).
(Photo by GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. played down on Sunday the planned nationwide transport strike set on Monday by transport group Manibela after he received assurances from the country’s largest transport groups that they would not participate in the move.

Abalos met with the “Magnificent 7” and “Mighty One” on Sunday to discuss the transport strike and other concerns, which include local enforcers supposedly taking bribes from colorum vehicles in order to operate.


“I’m very, very sure that there will be no paralysis of traffic. Everyone — along with the PNP (Philippine National Police), MMDA (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority) — will be there to assist us,” he said at a press briefing on Sunday.


The “Magnificent 7” is composed of the Pasang Masda, the Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines, Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide, Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization, Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines, Stop and Go, and Liga ng Transportasyon at Operators ng Pilipinas, while the “Mighty One” is a UV Express group.

Manibela has set a nationwide strike for an “indefinite” period starting Monday to protest the phaseout of traditional jeepneys as part of the government’s public utility vehicle modernization program, and the alleged corruption at the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

Free rides

The PNP said it will deploy personnel in major thoroughfares and other convergence where protests are expected to be held.

PNP vehicles will also be on standby to provide free rides, PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said. Several higher education institutions have suspended in-person classes and will shift to online learning on Monday.

At De La Salle University, the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, National University and Lyceum of the Philippines, classes at all levels will shift to online.

The Adamson University, the University of the East in Manila and Caloocan, as well as the Manila and Rizal campuses of San Beda University will shift to off-site synchronous classes.


The Polytechnic University of the Philippines likewise announced that classes at all campuses will shift to online mode.

At Ateneo de Manila University, undergraduate and graduate classes will be held online. Meanwhile, Quezon City has decided against the suspension of classes, according to the recommendations made by the Quezon City government, the Department of Education Quezon City Schools Division Office, and the Quezon City Police District (QCPD).

“Based on intelligence reports I have received through our QCPD DD (district director) Gen. Red Maranan, the impact of the planned transport strike will be minimal and class suspension has not been recommended as of this writing. However, we are taking measures to intensify our already existing ‘libreng sakay’ in the routes that are predicted to be affected,” said Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte in a text message to Inquirer.

Muntinlupa Mayor Ruffy Biazon also confirmed that he will not be postponing classes in Muntinlupa City. Biazon said that after consultations with various government agencies involved, it was recommended that classes may continue as the impact is only considered minimal.

Makati City has ordered public schools to continue in-person classes as the United Transport Federation of Makati is not part of the jeepney strike.

But Marikina opted to suspend in-person classes at all levels, both in public and private on Monday. Other cities shifting to distance learning were Parañaque, Pasay, and Caloocan.

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Manila, Pateros, Pasig, and Taguig, meanwhile, have placed vehicles on standby to ferry stranded commuters.

TAGS: Benhur Abalos, Department of the Interior and Local Government, jeepney strike, PUV modernization program

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