Jeepney drivers, operators hold transport strike; some classes suspended

QUEZON City (Eagle News) — Several transport groups held a transport strike on Monday, July 17, prompting some schools to declare a suspension of classes.

Jeepney drivers and operators marched from Elliptical Road in Quezon City to Mendiola in Manila, denouncing government plans to hold a phaseout of old jeepneys.

Among the transport groups that joined the protest were the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON), No To Jeepney Phaseout Coalition, and the Save Our Jeepneys Network.

PISTON President George San Mateo said instead of implementing a phaseout of old public vehicles, the government should assist  drivers and operators in giving their vehicles a makeover.

He said the fact that the government was pushing for the phaseout plans meant it was giving in to the demands of private corporations.

“Sa Hong Kong po, 18,000 ang mga taxi doon. Ang mga taxi doon mga 1995 model na Toyota Comfort. Hanggang ngayon bumibiyahe pa rin po,” he said.

He also noted that the designs of jeepneys are made by Filipinos, which means they could be considered national treasures.

In its official account, the local government of Malolos in Bulacan announced a suspension of classes at all levels–pre-elementary, high school and college–in both public and private schools.

Apart from Malolos, San Miguel, San Jose del Monte, and Sta. Maria, all in Bulacan, declared a suspension of classes at all levels.

Transport caravans were also held in Zambales, Batasan and Pampanga, among others.