MMDA: Strike fails to disable Metro Manila’s public transport system
MANILA, Philippines — Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Romando Artes said that Monday’s strike failed to paralyze the capital region’s public transportation system.
According to Artes, only 66 of the 686 vehicles the government prepared to help possibly stranded commuters were deployed so far.
The three-day transport strike that started on November 20 was led by the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (Piston).
“I can confidently say that public transportation was not paralyzed this morning,” Artes said in a mix of English and Filipino during a press briefing.
“We will continue to monitor, [and] as I’ve said, we are ready this afternoon, tomorrow morning, [and] until the three-day strike period is over,” he added.
Artes also noted that suspending the number coding scheme in Metro Manila helped ease the anticipated impact of the transport strike, even if it resulted in a heavier traffic flow.
“[B]ecause that’s an additional 20 percent of vehicles,” he admitted.
Artes said they will make another assessment of the situation later in the afternoon and decide whether to extend the suspension of the number coding scheme until the last day of the transport strike on November 22.
Piston launched a nationwide transport strike to protest the approaching December 31 deadline for consolidating traditional jeepneys under the government’s public utility vehicle modernization program.