MMDA deploys 41 gov’t vehicles for Monday’s strike

The Kalayaan Rides buses and trucks from the MMDA. (MMDA photo)

THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will provide government vehicles and military trucks that will give free rides to commuters who will be affected by the jeepney drivers’ strike on Monday and Tuesday.

Around 41 vehicles dubbed will be deployed at the MMDA parking lot in Guadalupe, Makati City; Luneta; Commonwealth Avenue; Camp Aguinaldo and Monumento, according to MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago.

“We will be providing 10 buses for each area that will be affected by the strike,” Pialago said in a text message to reporters.

“We are considering deploying more buses in the Commonwealth Avenue as most of the members of PISTON are expected to congregate in the area,” the MMDA spokesperson added.

PISTON or the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide will lead the strikes on October 16 and 17 in protest against the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program of the government.

The MMDA will also deploy its traffic personnel, rescue teams and ambulances to provide assistance for stranded commuters.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has earlier said that it will provide 20 buses in various parts of Metro Manila.

Meanwhile, Philippine National Police-National Capital Region Police Office (PNP-NCRPO) head., Chief Superintendent Oscar Albayalde, ordered the police district directors in Metro Manila to coordinate with local government units (LGUs) for the Libreng Sakay and put up police assistance desks in jeepney terminals to prevent harassment of drivers who will not participate in the strike.

“RD-NCRPO (Regional Director) will go around affected areas, we will start by visiting the MMDA control room where the task force usually convene during strikes,” PNP-NCRPO spokesperson, Chief Inspector Kimberly Molitas, said.

The Joint Quick Response Team — composed of the LTFRB, MMDA, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Department of Transportation, Philippine Coast Guard, Department of Public Works and Highways, Office of Transport Security — will be activated during the transport strike with its command and control base at the MMDA Metrobase in Makati City.

PNP-Highway Patrol Group will monitor areas where harassment and threats against drivers and operators who will not participate in the strike are reported.

Enforcers of the MMDA and LTFRB will likewise be on the ground to monitor strikers.

The Department of Education has already declared the suspension of classes in both public and private schools from Kindergarten to Grade 12 nationwide due to tomorrow’s transport strike. Aerol John Pateña and Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA