MANILA (UPDATED) - Malacañang on Monday said classes in public schools and work in government will resume Tuesday, October 17, before suddenly taking back its announcement.
Palace Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, quoting Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, said Monday night that the government decided to suspend classes and government work for Tuesday in consideration of the public’s health and safety, effectively taking back the government's earlier announcement.
The Palace made the sudden turn-around, amid the continuation tomorrow of the 2-day strike of jeepney drivers, led by transport group Piston, to protest the government’s Public Utility Vehicle modernization program.
In an earlier statement, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said based on the assessment of the Joint Quick Response Team, the nationwide transport stroke “barely affected” the riding public.
The Palace suspended work in government and classes in public schools Monday due to the protest.
The government’s earlier claim on the extent of the effect of the transport strike is contrary to those of Piston, which said its protest action today paralyzed as much as 90 percent of jeepney routes nationwide.
Piston has protested the government’s PUV modernization program, saying it will bury poor jeepney drivers and operators in debt if they will be forced to shift to brand new units of jeepney.