Abalos: 95% of transport groups to continue operations despite Monday strike

Metro Manila, Philippines – Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos on Sunday said 95% of transport groups will not participate in the transport strike on Monday, assuring that no transportation paralysis would occur.

Transport group Manibela called for the strike amid the allegations of corruption in Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

President Ferdiand Marcos Jr. ordered the suspension of LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III last week, but Manibela is bent on pushing through with the protest.

“Ninety-five percent ng lahat ng transport groups ay kasama natin at sila ay hindi dadalo. Number two, nakaagapay ang kapulisan. Number three, may magandang plano rito. Ang central monitoring team will be MMDA (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority),” Abalos said during a meeting with the transport coalition Magnificent 7.

[Translation: Ninety-five percent of transport groups are with us and won’t join the strike. Number two, the police are on hand. And number three, they have a good plan. MMDA will be the central monitoring team.]

The coalition is composed of Pasang Masda, the Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines, Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytors Nationwide, Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations, Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines, Stop and Go, and Liga ng Transportasyon at Operators ng Pilipinas. They earlier said they would skip the strike.

Abalos said the government also made preparations to mitigate any negative effects of the transport strike, including deployment of vehicles and the establishment of a multi-agency command center in Pasig City to monitor the strike.

He added the government would also create a technical working group to address the issues in the sector such as extortion.

Manibela chairman Mar Valbuena on Friday estimated that a thousand PUVs would gather in Mendiola, Manila for the Monday strike.