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Another transport group to continue PISTON strike

MANILA, Philippines — As the three-day transport strike launched by the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) ends today, another group, Manibela, will launch a similar activity from now until Friday.

At a press conference yesterday, Manibela president Mar Valbuena said their members would stick to the original plan after PISTON decided to proceed with the strike ahead of what was agreed during a meeting with PISTON president Mody Floranda.

“We will stick to the original plan for a three-day nationwide strike on Nov. 22, 23, 24,” Valbuena said, referring to the supposed joint transport immobilization by PISTON and Manibela members.

Members of PISTON launched the strike on Monday and concluded it today, to oppose the deadline set by the government for the phaseout of traditional jeepneys, which is on Dec. 31.

Valbuena said at least 200,000 operators and drivers nationwide would join the “extended” strike, noting that in Metro Manila alone, at least 400 routes will be affected by the protest.

“Here in the National Capital Region, 400 of 800 routes will be affected by the strike. In Central Luzon, all will be affected as the federation presidents of Pampanga and Bulacan are here. Tarlac and Cavite will also join the transport strike,” Valbuena added.

He said that in the NCR, the center of the strike would be Marikina, Manila, Monumento in Caloocan, Muntinlupa, Novaliches, Paranaque, Pasig, Project 4 in Quezon City and Valenzuela.

Among areas outside Metro Manila and Central Luzon that will join the strike are Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), Central and Western Visayas and Davao region as well as

Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro City and Sultan Kudarat.

Valbuena responded to a statement of the Land Transportation, Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) that a transport strike is not a solution to the problem pertaining to the deadline of the transport modernization.

“I will answer that by telling the government, the LTFRB and the Department of Transportation that consolidation is not the answer, the expensive units are not the answer to the modernization. We have many ways to modernize. Many were able to rehabilitate