Poe urges transport groups to call off nationwide strike

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe on Saturday, December 2, urged transport groups to call off their planned nationwide strike next week, and asked them to sit down with the Senate committee on public services to discuss their concerns.

“I am appealing to transport groups Piston and the Stop Jeepney Phaseout Coalition to reconsider and call off their planned strike and instead sit down with us in the committee so that the Senate can hear their concerns regarding the proposed jeepney modernization program of the government,” Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services, said in a statement on Saturday.

The Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide and the No To Jeepney Phaseout Coalition had earlier announced a natonwide jeepney strike on December 4 and 5 – their 4th one this year and the second specifically to protest the looming phaseout of old jeepneys in January 2018.

The announcement had prompted the governments of Albay province and Guagua in Pampanga to announce class suspensions. (READ: #WalangPasok: Class suspensions, Monday, December 5)

“In light of the announced transport strike scheduled on December 4-5, and in consideration of the interests of various stakeholders – the transport sector and especially the commuters, I am calling for an urgent hearing of the Senate committee on public services on Thursday, December 7,” Poe said.

She said that on Monday, December 4, she will file a resolution to conduct the hearing.

The senator said that the committee will look into issues in the modernization program raised by the transport groups that “still need to be carefully studied and threshed out with the concerned government agencies.”

“We also want to hear the alternative proposals from different stakeholders,” she added. 

Previous jeepney strikes had paralyzed commuters in parts of the country, prompting class suspensions in mostly urban areas. – Rappler.com