PISTON president George San Mateo
MANILA, Philippines —Malacañang has suspended classes from all levels in both private and public schools in Metro Manila on Tuesday.
Based on the memo circular, this is to avoid students from getting stranded due to the transport strike.
But some transport groups are wondering why when they did not organize a transport strike that day.
Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) national president George San Mateo said this is only a tactic by the Duterte administration.
“Ang tingin namin ang Malacañang naglilikha ng confusion para magpanic at maglikha ng galit sa ating mga mamamayan laban sa mga driver, para i-crackdown ang mga driver,” San Mateo said.
(The way we see it, Malacañang is creating confusion to cause panic so that people will turn against jeepney drivers and they can conduct a crackdown on drivers.)
This was promptly denied by Malacañang.
“Hindi po namin alam kung ano ang plano ng Piston. Inanunsyo nila, isang linggo yata yan, or nagbabanta sila ng patuloy na strike. Naniniguro lang po ang president. Hindi ko po alam kung anong taktika ang sinasabi nila,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
(We don’t know what Piston is planning. They made an announcement it might be a week-long strike or they threatened to conduct a continuous strike. The President just wants to be sure. I don’t know about these “tactics” they are talking about.)
Some jeepney operators appealed to the government not to suspend classes and even assured to provide transportation to students.
“Dahil agree naman kami sa lahat ng modernization at inaayos na namin ito,” said Zenny Maranan, president of Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (Fejodap).
(Because we agree with all modernization plans and we are working things out.)
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) appealed to San Mateo to accept the modernization program for the sake of the commuters.
“The only way to go here, and this is a message to George, is to embrace the modernization program. Hindi natin haharangin, kasi haharangin natin ng tigil pasada, sino napeperwisyo? Ang mananakay,” LTFRB chair Atty. Martin Delgra said.
(The only way to go here, and this is a message to George, is to embrace the modernization program. We should not block it. Because when you block it with a transport strike, who suffers most — the commuters.)
LTFRB plans to pursue filing a case not only against San Mateo but to all those who participated in the transport strike.
Since last year, Piston has conducted three transport strikes while LTFRB had already filed two cases against San Mateo. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue