No classes, gov't work nationwide on Oct. 16

MALACA√ĎANG announced on Sunday the suspension of classes in both public and private schools and work in all government offices nationwide to avoid public inconvenience due to planned two-day transport strike.

The Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) along with other militant groups are set to conduct a transport strike from October 16-17 to oppose the government's Public Utility Jeepney Phaseout program.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said the suspension will only be for Monday.

He also said the work suspension in private offices is not covered as it is subject to the discretion of their employers.

Piston national president George San Mateo said the jeepney modernization will affect thousands of jeepney drivers as well as their families as it will require them to buy a new vehicle which is more expensive.

"Duterte has not only rejected our demand to junk the previous Aquino administration's PUJ phaseout program, he is now even rushing its implementation to complete the monopoly take-over of our livelihood by his big business cronies and foreign auto industry giants," he said.

Read: Transport strike set Oct.16-17 in Pampanga

The Land Transportation Franchise and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said it will deploy buses with special permits to convey passengers who will be affected by the protest.

Work in all courts nationwide will be suspended on Monday due to the scheduled nationwide transport strike to be held by groups in protest to the jeepney modernization program.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has also suspended work in all courts nationwide on Monday.

In Cebu province, Governor Hilario Davide III announced Sunday afternoon the suspension of work in government offices and classes in all levels, both public and private, in the province tomorrow.

The cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu also declared suspension of government work tomorrow and announced that vehicles will be deployed to offer free transportation to the public.

Cebu City Transportation Office head Francisco Ouano said around 25 private and government buses will be deployed tomorrow to ferry stranded passengers in the city.

"Work is therefore cancelled tomorrow for Mandaue City Hall except for Rescue/Emergency/Traffic responders and those otherwise designated. In coordination with the LTFRB, we are also deploying vehicles to assist in the possible shortage of public transport as cancellation of work in the private sector remains to be the discretion of their respective management," Mandaue City Mayor Luigi R. Quisumbing said.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza said: "I, in my authority hereby announce that the Oponganons will have FREE vehicles (City Bus and Barangay vehicles) designated in our terminals (Pajo and Tamiya) for public transportation. For private agencies, it is their discretion as to the suspension of their work but still the City Government will look into their means of transportation. The City Government is now coordinating to the private agencies. Our City Disaster Team/ Emergency and Responders Team will be facilitating the transportation."

In Davao City, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio declared on Friday the suspension of class from kindergarten to college also on Monday due to the planned strike of Transport of Southern Mindanao for Solidarity, Indpendence and Nationalism.

Read: Class suspension set in Davao due to transport strike on Oct. 16

(KAC/FMG/RJF/SunStar Philippines)
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