By Perseus Echeminada (The Philippine Star), Feb. 7, 2017
MANILA, Philippines – At least 15,000 commuters in Metro Manila were affected by the transport holiday staged by some groups that protested the government’s jeepney phaseout plan.
Around 12 routes were affected, some of which were “paralyzed,” according to the Joint Quick Response Team (JQRT) composed of different government agencies.
It fizzled out in some parts of the country though as some public transport groups decided not to join the mass action.
But the Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator ng Pilipinas Genuine Organization (Stop and Go), which led the strike, said they are already preparing for a “more organized and bigger second stage” of the protest.
Stop and Go leader Jun Magno, who said yesterday’s strike was a success, apologized for the inconvenience their actions may have caused as he reiterated their protest against the decision of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) over the jeepney phaseout.
LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada contradicted Magno’s “success” claim, insisting that it only affected less than one percent of the riding public in the National Capital Region. The JQRT assisted 15,420 passengers as of 5:30 p.m. yesterday.
“We have a ridership of over five million, based on estimates. That gives you more or less .3 percent of the commuting public. They have not even reached one percent,” Lizada said.
She identified the affected areas as Baclaran, Rizal Ave.-Blumetritt, Nichols, Valenzuela, Market-Market to C-5 (Taguig) and Pususan, and Carujatan.
The transport holiday also slightly affected areas in Commonwealth going to Fairview, Marcos Highway to Cainta and Antipolo, and Guadalupe going to C-5 McKinley and Housing Taguig.– With Perseus Echeminada, Non Alquitran, Rey Galupo, Jose Rodel Clapano, Rainier Allan Ronda, Cecille Suerte Felipe, Ghio Ong