MMDA says transport strike had ''minimal effect'', number coding resumes Tuesday
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said the first day of the week-long transport strike opposing the government's public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program had a minimal effect on the commuters.
MMDA acting chairman Don Artes attributed this to the government's contingency measures in place to counter the effects of the transport group strike that started on Monday.
The MMDA’s expanded number coding scheme will also be in effect starting March 7, said Artes, noting that moderate traffic was experienced by motorists passing major roads today.
"The President, through the Office of the Executive Secretary, organized this Inter-Agency Monitoring Team in response to the transport strike. Because of the unified efforts of concerned agencies, we were able to prepare and address the needs of the riding public," said Artes, during a press briefing held in MMDA headquarters on Monday afternoon.
"Ahead of the transport strike, assets were pre-positioned, contingency plans were in place, and routes that would be affected by the strike were identified," said Artes.
MMDA general manager Undersecretary Procopio Lipana, head of the Inter-Agency Task Force Monitoring Team Secretariat, said only 88 of the 1,680 vehicles from the national government and Metro Manila local government units were used to transport affected commuters.
"Only 5 percent of our assets have been utilized and catered to 3,584 passengers," said Lipana.
Artes said only a few PUV drivers joined the transport strike. Road activities and situations on the ground were monitored at the Inter-Agency Task Force Monitoring Team's command center at MMDA.
Col. Roman Arugay, operations officer of the Philippine National Police-National Capital Region Police Office, said the first day of the transport strike was peaceful.
"No major untoward incidents were reported except for minor ones, such as PUV drivers who held demonstrations, protesters who obstructed streets, and coerced PUV drivers to join the protest. No injuries or harm occurred. No arrest has been made," said Arugay.
Libreng Sakay buses were quickly dispatched to areas in Metro Manila where passengers had been reported as stranded.
Artes assured the riding public of available passenger vehicles for the duration of the transport strike.
Transportation Undersecretary ark Steven Pastor said the Department of Transportationis open to have a dialogue with PUV transport groups.
"We want to hear the concerns of the transport groups and what we can do about it. Let us reiterate that there will be no phaseout of jeepney units," said Pastor.
Jocelyn Tataro of the Land Transport Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), said they will monitor situations for any possible disturbances as well as provide assistance to the riding public.
The team also includes the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Department of National Defense, the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic, the Land Transport Franchising and Regulatory Board, and Metro Manila local government units (LGUs), among others. MMDA Public Information Office