MANILA — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is ready to provide transportation for passengers who will be affected by the strike that will be staged by the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mgaTsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) on October 16 and 17 in protest to the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program.
Around 20 buses will be deployed by the LTFRB in various parts of Metro Manila, according to LTFRB board member and spokesperson Aileen Lizada.
“This is lower than the 70 buses that we deployed during the previous strike of PISTON last month. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will likewise be providing government buses and military trucks known as Kalayaan Rides,” Lizada said in an interview with reporters.
The buses will be available in the following staging areas:
Monumento in front of MCU southbound
Luneta Parade Ground
HK Sun Plaza Southwest Integrated Provincial Pasay City
TechnoHub Quezon City
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) parking lot
The Joint Quick Response Team (JQRT) — 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. Its command and control base will be located at the MMDA Metrobase in Makati City.
PNP-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) 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 participants.
The Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (FEJODAP), Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO), Ligang Transportasyon at Operators sa Pilipinas (LTOP), Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (ALTODAP) and Pangkalahatang Sanggunian Manila and Suburbs Drivers Association (PASANG MASDA) have earlier stated that they will not participate in next week’s transport strike.
The transport groups said the PUV modernization program seeks to overhaul the public transportation system to meet safety, energy efficiency, and emission standards in order to enhance commuter convenience.
Under the PUV Modernization Program, jeepney units that are 15 years old will be replaced with Euro 4 engines or electrically-powered engines with solar panels for roofs. These will also be equipped with closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, a GPS navigation system, an Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS), speed limiters, dashboard cameras, and Wi-Fi. Aerol Pateña/PNA-northboundasia.com