SONA transport strike to push through –Manibela

Transport group Manibela (Malayang Alyansa ng Bus Employees at Laborers) said Saturday that they will push through with their transport protest on Monday, during President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos’ second State of the Nation Address (SONA).

In an interview on Super Radyo dzBB on Saturday, Manibela said that the 3-day protest will kick off with a march near Commonwealth Avenue.

The protest aims to air the group’s opposition to the December 31 deadline for the consolidation phase of the PUV modernization program. The group says its drivers have been deprived of routes by local governments and corporations under the government’s route rationalization plan.

“Ang gusto talaga natin ay tigil-pasada… Sa Metro Manila, nasa 40,000 [ang lalahok sa tigil-pasada]… Kung nationwide, nasa 200,000,” Manibela President Mar Valbuena said.

While they initially planned on not pushing through with the strike, the group said that LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) did not provide or entertain any of their complaints with solutions or ideas.

“Ang sinabi lang nila, “hindi totoo ‘yan.” Hindi man lang nila sinabi sa amin na iimbestigahan nila… ‘Yung mga ebidensiya, matagal nang nasa kanila,” said Valbuena.

“Itong ginagawa nila, puwersahan [ang pagsali sa kooperatiba]… ‘Yung mga naunang kooperatiba na maayos na napapatakbo nung wala pang PUVMC, talagang kusa, hindi tulad ngayon na puwersahan,” said Valbuena.

The transport group said that with the group’s current efforts, they are hoping for Marcos to favor the continued operation of the traditional jeepneys.

On Monday ,the LTFRB said free rides will be offered along certain routes in Metro Manila that will be affected by the three-day transport strike.

Earlier, President Marcos announced the suspension of classes and government work on Monday due to the expected inclement weather caused by Tropical Storm Egay and the transport strike. –Jiselle Anne Casucian/ VAL, GMA Integrated News

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