Palace suspends all classes, work in gov't offices nationwide on Oct. 16

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 15) — Malacañang announced Sunday that all classes and work in government offices nationwide are suspended on Monday due to the transport strike.

"Classes at all levels, both public and private, and government work nationwide will be suspended for tomorrow, October 16, 2017 (not including Tuesday)," the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES) said Sunday. "As to suspension of government work, we shall issue the usual memorandum circular."

The Palace added that work in the private sector is not covered by the suspension, which will be at the discretion of employers.

Transport and labor groups are set to stage a nationwide strike on October 16 and 17 to protest the Public Utility Jeepney (PUJ) Phaseout program, which is expected to affect hundreds of thousands of drivers and operators.

Read: Transport strike vs. jeepney phaseout set for Oct. 16-17

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.

"Duterte has not only rejected our demand to junk the previous Aquino administration's PUJ phaseout program, he is now even rushing its implementation to complete the monopoly takeover of our livelihood by his big business cronies and foreign auto industry giants," San Mateo said in a statement.

Joining PISTON in the call are Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and other transport and commuters' groups under the No to Jeepney Phaseout Coalition.

In Pampanga, Anti-Jeepney Phaseout Coalition spokesperson Bong Meneses said around 8,000 PUJs are expected to join the strike.