Thousands of commuters were affected by the transport strike launched by various groups nationwide on Monday.
The Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) said the transport strike crippled jeepney operations in Metro Manila by almost 100 percent.
Transport groups staged the nationwide strike to register their opposition to the public utility vehicles (PUV) modernization program, which aims to phase out old jeepneys by July 2020.
The transport strike was led by three big transport groups — Piston, Stop and Go Coalition and the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations.
Piston National President Mody Floranda said 95 to 100 percent of jeepney drivers in Metro Manila did not ply their routes. Other PUV units such as tricycles and UV Express drivers and operators also joined the strike, he said.
Jun Magno, president of Stop and Go Coalition, claimed the nationwide transport strike was a success as major jeepney routes in Metro Manila and several regions were paralyzed.
In a phone interview, Magno said operations in Regions 6 and 7 were also paralyzed.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Monday said the PUV modernization program would push through despite the nationwide transport strike.
“Tuloy ang implementation (We will continue the implementation)… [It is the] directive of the President to continue to implement the program,” LTFRB chief Martin Delgra 3rd said in a news conference.
The government is targeting to modernize more than 170,000 units, but only 18,000 units have joined the program since it was launched in June 2017.
Delgra said transport groups could approach LTFRB officials for a dialogue to iron out issues, particularly on financing, as transport groups have complained that the requirements set by the Land Bank of the Philippines were impossible to meet.
With a reports from LISBET ISMAEL