Regulators: Strike failed to paralyze transport service

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 16) — Transport regulators claimed that the first day of the nationwide  strike Monday did not cripple jeepney routes all over the country.

This, as 200,000 members of the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) flocked to the streets in protest of the government's planned public utility vehicle modernization program.

"Based on the monitoring traffic is flowing, buses are there, jeepneys are likewise there," said Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra.

LTFRB Spokesperson Atty. Aileen Lizada added that the strike affected less than one percent of commuters.

".011% based sa dispatching ng 23 buses serving 1,140 passengers out of 10-million ridership ng jeep," Lizada said in a message to reporters Monday.

Lizada added that by the end of the day, only about 30 government vehicles in aid of stranded commuters were used.

PISTON President George San Mateo, on the other hand, rebuked the transport regulators' claims that the strike failed.

San Mateo called the strike a success, citing that at least 80 percent of jeepney routes were paralyzed.

"Sa ganitong oras pa lang ay matagumpay na matagumpay ang unang araw ng ating tigil-pasada," he said.

But LTFRB clarified they would not underestimate the second day of the strike on Tuesday.

"We held hostage the riding public so 'yan ang ayaw nating lahat [that's what we don't want]," Delgra said.

The JQRT will continue to provide free trips in various pickup points in the metro in aid of the strike:

Monumento in front of MCU,

  • SM Marikina,
  • Luneta Grandstand,
  • HK Sun Plaza in Pasay,
  • Araneta Avenue, E. Rodriguez,
  • Karuhatan to Cubao,
  • Monumento to Cubao,
  • Recto and Espana to Quezon City
  • Orense, Guadalupe, and
  • Camp Aguinaldo.

Malacanang also carried on the suspension of classes in all levels as well as government offices on October 17 due to the strike's second day.

CNN Philippines' Xianne Arcangel, Cecille Lardizabal, and Makoi Popioco contributed to this report.