MALACANANG suspended classes in all levels, both public and private, as well as work in government offices nationwide on Monday, October 16, due to a transport strike.
In a statement from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, a memorandum circular will be issued shortly in connection with the suspension of government work.
The private sector workers, however, are not covered by the suspension but their employers have the authority to issue a similar order.
The strike, led by Piston and No To Jeepney Phaseout Coalition, is against the government’s plan to phase out public utility jeepneys and compel their drivers and owners to purchase a minimum of 10 “brand-new” PUJ units at over P1.6 million each that will be operated under a fleet management scheme run by big transport companies.
“They want to rid small operators and drivers of our livelihood to hand over to the monopoly control of big foreign and local businesses. Only big transport corporations can come up with over P20 million to comply with the DOTr’s new guidelines. Worse, this phaseout scheme is in line with the Ayala-Pangilinan consortium’s plan to monopolize the country’s mass transport system,” Piston president George San Mateo said in a statement last week.
Another transport group, Stop & Go Transport Coalition, held a similar strike on September 24, describing the modernization program as “anti-poor.” LLANESCA T. PANTI