Hundreds of jeepney drivers will not ply their routes in Metro Manila on Monday to press their demand for the government to withdraw a directive that imposes what they said were unreasonable and excessive penalties for motoring violations.
The transport strike was called by the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytors Nationwide (Piston), who said sympathetic drivers and operators of taxis and tricycles will be joining the protest.
Piston is calling on the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to rescind Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No. 2014-01, which imposes higher fines on unlicensed or colorum vehicle operators and on violations by legitimate public transport operators.
Past transport strikes spearheaded by Piston failed to paralyze Metro Manila’s mass transport, because other drivers and operators groups refused to participate.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino believes that Monday’s strike will be no different.
Just the same, Tolentino said the MMDA will deploy trucks to give free rides to stranded commuters.
He added that his agency is coordinating with the National Capital Regional Police Office (NCRPO) in monitoring the situation The MMDA trucks will be deployed in Monumento in Caloocan City and Karuhatan in Valenzuela City, where there are usually large concentrations of commuters.
At the same time, Tolentino appealed to Piston members for sobriety during their protest action. Clashes had erupted between striking drivers and those who insisted on plying their routes.
“We are appealing to Piston not to harass those who opted not to join the strike,” he said on Sunday.
The group’s president, George San Mateo, said members and affiliates in Laguna, Albay, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu, Northern Mindanao, Surigao del Norte, General Santos and Davao cities will be holding their own strikes.
In Metro Manila, San Mateo said Piston members will stay off the road as early as 5:00 a.m.
The protesters will mass at Alabang (under Alabang Viaduct Bridge), Monumento (fronting Victory Mall on Rizal Avenue), Pasay City (Flower Box Terminal, Roxas Blvd. and Ortigas Street), Novaliches Bayan in front of Goldilocks store on Quirino Avenue and Cubao (Aurora Boulevard and Annapolis Street).