The MMDA says the strike did not block public transportation in Metro Manila

FILE PHOTO: A jeepney driver takes part in an earlier transport strike that took place in March, in this photo taken in the city of Parañaque. QUESTION FILES

MANILA, Philippines — Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Romando Artes said Monday’s strike did not paralyze the capital region’s public transportation system.

According to Artes, only 66 of the 686 vehicles prepared by the government to help people who are likely to be stuck at work have so far been deployed.

The three-day transport strike, which began on November 20, was led by the United Nationwide Association of Drivers and Operators (Piston).

I can confidently say that public transport was not paralyzed this morning” Artes said at a press conference in English and Filipino.

We will continue to monitor [and] as I said, we are ready this afternoon and tomorrow morning, [and] until the three-day strike period expires” he added.

READ: MMDA deploys vehicles, offers free rides during transport strike

Artes also noted that the suspension of Metro Manila’s number coding system helped mitigate the expected impact of the transportation strike, even if it would result in heavier traffic congestion.

“[B]because this is an additional 20 percent of vehicles,” He admitted.

Artes said they would reassess the situation late this afternoon and decide whether to extend the suspension of the number coding system until the last day of the transportation strike, scheduled for Nov. 22.

Piston launched a nationwide transportation strike to protest the upcoming Dec. 31 deadline for consolidating traditional jeepneys under the government’s public utility vehicle modernization program.

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