QC traffic ‘normal’ despite transport strike—police
MANILA, Philippines—Militant groups pushed through with their transport strike Monday morning in some parts of Quezon City but police said traffic volume during the rush hour appeared “normal” in key routes.
At White Plains corner Edsa, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority had prepared 19 buses offering free rides with two buses deployed to Sucat in Parañaque and four more deployed in Cubao as of 7 a.m. to aid stranded passengers.
In Cubao, police noted normal traffic volume, especially along Aurora Blvd. cor. Annapolis St. where the bulk of passengers wait for jeepneys.
Members of militant transport group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide were seen under the bridge near the LRT 2 station and the MRT station at the corner of Edsa and Aurora Blvd.
Akbayan party-list Rep. Teddy Casiño joined Piston members, who were calling for support from drivers and operators to join the strike.
Casiño said the effect of the strike would be felt later in the day when some drivers try to take in passengers to at least bring home a part of their day’s earnings.
He added that the effect of strike may not be the same as last year since other operators did not join the strike after the dialogue with President Aquino last week.
Some drivers were seen removing their signboards as part of their support for the strike. A significant number, however, continued to ply their route.
“I’ll join them later but I need to meet my boundary pay first,” said driver Eddie Garriaso in Cubao.
In Philcoa, about 25 members of Piston and Sanlakas were seen at the University Ave. as they reminded PUJ drivers of their “common grievances” against the oil cartel and their stand against the oil deregulation law.
The UP-Philcoa operators said that about 30 jeepneys continued to operate on rotation even if they received instructions from Piston because they have not received any advisory from the university student council to stop plying their route.
“We decided to follow the advisory of the student council because we serve students,” said operator Charlie Baluyot.
Meanwhile, the UP Ayala-Technohub area along Commonwealth Ave. was slowly gaining traffic volume while Piston members assembled at the National Housing Authority-Quezon Memorial Circle to stage their protest.
At SM Fairview, the volume of jeepneys that made themselves available to the public appeared “normal” while police were on alert for possible harassment such as the use of metal spikes to flatten the tires of other drivers.
“There had been harassments on other drivers who don’t want to join the strike last year, but now we don’t see that kind of tactic here,” said Arnold Santiago, Quezon City Police District traffic enforcement unit chief.
Traffic at Fairview Center Mall has been noted due but police enforcers have been deployed to assist motorists and commuters, added Santiago.
Santiago said at least 20 drivers were calling for support at the Novaliches proper with normal number of jeepneys available for the riding public,
Quezon Ave. experienced heavier traffic than usual when strikers occupied two lanes at the Welcome Rotonda area.
Santiago said there were enough jeepneys and other modes of transportation for commuters.
“There were more operators and drivers who joined the strike last year compared to that of Monday’s and the effect is not yet experienced this morning,” he added.
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