Editor's note: This article will continue to be updated with the latest information throughout the duration of the scheduled transport strike.
(SPOT.ph) The week-long transport strike “Tigil-Pasada” is set to begin from March 6 to 12. This comes following the impending phaseout of traditional jeepneys as part of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program of 2017.
Based on reports, some 40,000 public utility vehicles will take part in the strike to contest the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) Memorandum Circular No. 2023-013, which moves the deadline for individual operators from June 30 to December 31. Single-unit jeepney operators who fail to make the switch will not be granted a renewed franchise.
However, this extension did not convince jeepney operators and drivers to cancel the plans to strike. According to Manibela President Mar Valbuena, they are remaining firm in the call to scrap the jeepney phaseout altogether.
The LTFRB has been restating “the deadliest deadline” warning since 2020, but to no avail three years later.
“If we always agree to the extension, the scenario will just repeat itself,” Valbuena was quoted as saying in the Inquirer. “Every time the deadline comes, we will keep on holding press conferences and strike again.”
What to know about the week-long transport strike
Tigil-Pasada marks the first major protest of the transportation sector since the pandemic, which is expected to affect at least 300,000 commuters.
There’s no word yet on which specific routes will be affected, but the strike is said to be held in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, and other nearby regions. So far, only the UP Jeepney Transport Group has given a heads up on which routes will be impacted by the strike: UP Philcoa, UP Ikot, UP Toki, UP SM North, UP Pantranco, and UP Katipunan.
Meanwhile, the Tanay Public Safety Office has confirmed that the jeepneys in Cogeo, Sampaloc, Jala-jala, Punta, Bagumbong, Quisao, Malaya, Cainta, Angono, Siniloan will continue to travel as usual except for Taytay and Junction. However, jeepneys and utility vehicles going to the crossing will only be operating until 6 a.m.
Fortunately for commuters, there are seven big transport groups with 11,800 jeepneys and UV express vehicles that will still be in operation from March 6 to 12. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority has also suspended the number coding scheme on Monday, March 6, in preparation for the week.
Also read: The Jeepney: Cultural Symbol or Tired Relic?
Here are the free rides you can get via LGU Libreng Sakay programs
As the transport strike looms, many local government units have already come up with temporary Libreng Sakay programs for commuters. You can find the full list below:
With the help of several offices, Manila will have a fleet of 10 buses, 17 pick-ups, 3 trucks, 2 transporters, and 1 command unit to ply the following routes from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m:
- Vito Cruz Taft Avenue to Quezon Boulevard
- Espana Blvd to Welcome Rotonda
- Abad Santos Avenue to R. Papa Rizal Avenue
- UN Taft Avenue to R. Papa Rizal Avenue
- Recto Avenue to SM Sta. Mesa
- UN Taft Avenue to P. Ocampo Street
- Monumento Rizal Ave to Divisoria
- Buendia Taft Avenue to Divisoria
- Buendia Taft Avenue to Monumento Rizal Avenue
- Buendia Taft Avenue to Welcome Rotonda
There will also be free e-trikes along secondary roads in the city.
Muntinlupa City was the first to provide solutions for the transport strike, vowing to sending out trucks, buses, flexi vans, and e-jeepneys from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the following routes:
- RMT to Alabang Viaduct and vice versa (National Road)
- Alabang Viaduct to Sucat and vice versa (East Service Road)
- South Station to Sucat and vice versa (West Service Road)
- South Station to Buencamino and vice versa (Alabang-Zapote Road)
- Biazon Road (Southville III)
- Sucat to Poblacion and vice versa (Coast)
Meanwhile, Taguig City will be focusing on providing rides on rush hours from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Selected vehicles for this program will have the official logo of the city and a sign of “Libreng Sakay hatid ng City of Taguig,” to pass by in the following routes:
- Bagumbayan to Cayetano Blvd. corner General Luna (vice versa)
- Napindan/Sta. Ana to Cayetano Blvd. General Moon corner (vice versa)
- Waterfun to Market-Market (vice versa)
- Waterfun to Gate-3 (vice versa)
- Department of Science and Technology to Market-Market (vice versa)
- BCDA Petron to Market-Market (vice versa)
- Cayetano corner Gen. Moon to Petron BCDA
Valenzuela City also promises traveling in the city “will not be a problem during the height of the protest movement” as it will be dispatching eight Libreng Sakay trucks in four routes:
- MacArthur Highway Malanday to Marulas
- Malanday to Polo
- Malinta to Novaliches
- Polo to Monumento
There will be four trucks along the MacArthur Highway Malanday to Marulas route, two trucks for the Malinta to Novaliches route, and one each for the Malanday to Polo and Polo to Monumento route.
Caloocan City has several pick-up points in North and South Caloocan:
- Phase 10 Kalayaan
- Phase 1 Simbahan
- Phase 5 Kanlaon
- Old City Call
There are also roving vehicles around the city to monitor the routes and pick up stranded passengers. Caloocan City has also provided the dispatcher contact numbers in its Facebook post should any concerns arise during the trips.
Las Piñas City will be providing free rides from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the following routes:
- Zapote to Honda Daang Hari
- Zapote to Kabihasnan Parañaque
- Marcos Alvarez Road
Navotas City will be using its NavoTour buses and utility trucks to provide free ribes from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the following routes:
C4 to Monumento (vice versa)
C4 to Divisoria (vice versa)
Sea Sea/Agora to Pier (vice versa)
In addition, 18 Navotas City barangays will also use its service vehicles to provide rides from C4 to Tangos (vice versa) and SRV to C4 (vice versa).
Aside from offering free rides like the rest, San Juan City will also be suspending the regular TODA routes to allow tricycles to ride and transport passengers anywhere in San Juan as necessary.
Angeles City has 10 Philippine Rabbit buses for deloyment in these five routes from 5 a.m. to 12 a.m., which is the latest time for any Libreng Sakay program:
- Cutud-Sapang Maisac boundary
- Balibago-Dau boundary
- Cutcut-Porac boundary
- Sto. Domingo-San Fernando boundary
- Mining-Malino boundary
Pasig City has over 40 buses, commuter trucks, and other local government service vehicles to provide free rides from 5 a.m. onwards:
- Pasig Mega Market to Shaw Boulevard (vice versa)
- Pasig Mega Market to Ligaya via Dr. Sixto Antonio Ave. (vice versa)
- Pasig Mega Market to Kalawaan to San Joaquin to Pasig Mega Market (loop)
- Pasig Mega Market to Joy via C. Raymundo Ave. (vice versa)
- Pasig Mega Market to Dr. Sixto Antonio Ave. to Rosario to C. Raymundo Ave. to Pasig Mega Market (loop)
Last but not the least, Quezon City has several bus units on standby for possible deployment to locations with a high number of stranded passengers, such as:
- Commonwealth Avenue
- Welcome Rotonda
- Novaliches Bayan
- East Avenue
- Quezon Memorial Circle
Quezon City barangays have also been instructed to provide free rides in their own areas of responsibility.
Also read: The Road to Modernization: It's More Than Just the Jeepneys
Suspension of classes
Although the Department of Education has said it will not be suspending classes next week, Manila, Marikina City, Angeles City, Caloocan City, San Juan City, Rizal, and Tarlac City have gone on to suspend face-to-face classes in all levels of public and private schools for the duration of the transport strike.
Public schools in Quezon City and Muntinlupa City are ordered to have asynchronous classes, while private schools are left to their own discretions. In fact, most universities have already made the decision to shift to the online delivery of instruction in anticipation of the week-long transport strike:
- University of the Philippines - Diliman
- Ateneo de Manila University
- De La Salle University - Manila
- University of Santo Tomas
- Adamson University
- Cavite State University
- Polytechnic University of the Philippines
- University of the East
- De La Salle - College of Saint Benilde
- Colegio de San Juan de Letrán
- Mapua University
- Philippine Science High School
- Far Eastern University
- College of Saint Anthony
- Malayan High School of Science
- San Sebastian College - Recoletos Manila
- Assumption College - San Lazaro
Also read: Prepare to Say Goodbye to the Jeepney as We Know It