Economy

Classes, government work to resume October 17

Classes, government work to resume October 17”

But a government agency said the mass action was barely felt in most parts of the country.

George San Mateo, national president of transport alliance Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (PISTON), on Friday said they are opposing the program, which was endorsed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

"They [are] selfish and small-minded".

The group urged the government to postpone the modernization program until it finds a "nationalized, efficient and affordable" framework.

In a press conference yesterday, PISTON president George San Mateo said that based on their estimate, 90 percent of the almost 300,000 public utility jeepneys nationwide joined the strike against the government's public utility vehicle modernization program.

San Mateo, in a separate statement, warned against the possible consequences of the jeepney modernization program to the public utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers, operators, and commuters.

The Supreme Court has also suspended work in all courts nationwide.

Malacañang suspended anew classes in all levels and government work nationwide on Tuesday, October 17, second day of the nationwide strike of the jeepney drivers and operators against the planned phase-out of the public utility vehicles (PUVs). This is in addition to four military trucks, four buses, four vans and four service vehicles provided by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board earlier claimed that Monday's stoppage of jeepney operations barely had an impact and recommended to the Palace not to suspend Tuesday's work and classes.

"Who does not want to have modern and environment friendly jeepneys?"

"We are fine with modernizing the public transport system for as long it will be for the common good and must not be monopolized by the corporations", the transport leader said.

But Piston and the other groups protested that the government loans offered for the modernization of their jeepneys were beyond the financial reach of the operators and drivers.

Several local government units likewise provided vehicles to help affected commuters.

He said the minimum wage will not be sufficient for the families of the drivers.

The police did not report any transport strike in the Bicol region and in the Mindoro provinces.

Despite the opposition from some transport groups, the jeepney modernization program of the government would still continue, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said on Monday.

Only 30 percent of the 1,000 members of Piston in Tacloban did not ply their routes.

Piston-Cebu, likewise, did not get the support they needed from the public as less than a hundred only joined their protest rallies in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu.

"The transport groups understand the vision of the modernization program". The caravan, joined by 30 vehicles, assembled at a terminal in Iloilo City before proceeding to Mandurriao and Jaro districts.

In Davao City, militant transport groups claimed crippling 90 percent of public land transport.

"Those old jeepneys, most are dilapidated anyway, really have to go", he said.

The city government deployed 36 buses to seven areas to ferry stranded commuters.



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