MMDA to offer free rides as transport groups strike next week

Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 02 2023 06:15 PM

Commuters wait for a ride along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/file
Commuters wait for a ride along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Thursday said it had plans in place to help commuters affected by the transport strike against the modernization of public utility vehicles (PUV) set next week.

In a press briefing Thursday, MMDA chairperson Romando Artes said the agency will be deploying its buses and vans to offer free rides to commuters, with Vice President Sara Duterte’s office already committing to share its resources for the said program.

Artes added they were also studying the possibility of suspending the number coding scheme in Metro Manila when the transport strike takes place.

“Nagpapaimbentaryo po tayo ng assets ng mga LGUs (local government units) para po sa possible deployment para i-augment yung public transport, kung sakaling matuloy itong nationwide transport strike,” he said.

(We are currently taking inventory of the assets of our local governments for possible deployment in case this nationwide transport strike pushes through.)

“Magsu-suspend tayo, if ever, ng number coding scheme para yung 20 percent na nababawas sa mga private vehicles,” he added.

(If ever, we will be suspending the number coding schemes so that there will be a 20 percent reduction of private vehicles on the road.)

The MMDA chair also said his agency was coordinating with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) to ensure the welfare of the commuters who may be affected by the strike. 

This, as he noted that some major transport groups announced that they would not join the protests, including Pasang Masda, FEJODAP, PISTON, ACTO, Stop & Go, LTOP and ALTODAP.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) earlier said it was still open to talks with transport groups on the PUV modernization program, while President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. called on the groups to not push through with the strike.

Marcos had said that while he supports modernizing the country’s public transport, proper implementation of the policy would still be needed.


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