VP Duterte offers to help MMDA during transport strike

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Dutere said Monday, Nov. 20, that her agencies stand ready to help the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in ensuring the commuters, both workers and students, are not affected by the ongoing transport strike.

In a joint press conference with MMDA, Duterte said the Office of the Vice President (OVP) has buses that can be mobilized to offer rides for the public.

"Meron pong mga buses ang Office of the Vice President, and sa ngayon po, inendorse namin silang lahat, yung mga buses namin, yung drivers namin, sa MMDA (OVP has buses. And we've already endorsed our buses, our drivers, to MMDA). So we are ready to support yung MMDA," she said.

"Mahalaga na di maabala ang mga tao, ang mga commuters natin na nasa daan ngayon dahil di tayo nag-cancel ng trabaho, di tayo nag-cancel ng classes (It's important that our commuters won't experience difficulty because we have not ordered the cancellation of work and of classes)," she added, reiterating President Marcos' mandate.

Duterte is currently the government's caretaker as Marcos is in the US for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit and other activities.

Duterte maintained there will still be no cancellation of classes, as per the general rule of DepEd; but local government units may declare on their own.

She added that the MMDA does "not recommend the cancellation of classes."
"They're more than ready, and yung kanilang paghahanda nga (and their preparation) is more than prepared," she said.

The Vice President called on those holding transport strikes, who are opposing the jeepney modernization program, to continue its dialogue with the government and raise their concerns.

Various transport groups held the strike as they were protesting the approaching deadline for the consolidation of traditional public utility jeepneys.

"Ang franchise consolidation ay phaseout. Ang franchise consolidation ay pagbawi at pagmasaker sa mga indibidwal na prangkisa at pagpasa nito sa mga malalaking transport corporation na sila lang may kapasidad na magbayad at sumunod sa mga pakana ng gobyerno, (Franchise consolidation is jeepney phaseout. It is the revocation and massacre of individual franchises and the transferring of them to large transport corporations that are the ones only capable of paying and complying with the government’s demands)," PISTON national president Mody Floranda said.