Government prepared to handle transport strike
The government has contingency measures in place in the event some members of the transport sector push through with their planned transport holiday in the midst of the continuing increases on petroleum prices, Malacanang said on Thursday.
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in the press conference on Thursday that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has prepared counter measures to help the public in case of a trasnport strike. He said the government’s major concern is the interest of the riding public.
Commenting on the statements of some groups planning protest actions, Lacierda said these groups should analyze whose interest are they protecting and at the same time reminded them of their obligations as indicated in their franchises.
“There are consequences. You are responsible…you have obligations in the franchise that you hold. In so far as the government is concerned the MMDA is prepared to handle the situation. We have coordinated with them as well. Kung sakaling sila po ay matutuloy, handa po ang gobyerno for the sole purpose of making sure that the riding public will not be jeopardized,” Lacierda stressed.
“We hope that yesterday’s dialogue with them convinced them of the sincerity of the government towards addressing their concerns,” he added referring to the meeting between President Benigno S. Aquino III and the transport sector on Wednesday in Malacanang.
Asked by reporters if the Palace would want to appeal to transport organizations not to continue with their planned mass actions, Lacierda said there was no indication, during Wednesday’s meeting, that the transport sector will go on a strike.
The transport sector is more concerned on extortion and the single-ticketing system being implemented particularly in the Metro Manila area by local government units and MMDA, Lacierda said noting that majority of transport organizations do not favor holding a strike.
Malacanang described the meeting on Wednesday as “constructive” with the President addressing the concerns raised by the members of the transport sector.
According to Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte, among the major issues raised were extortion [kotong], the oil deregulation law and the possible transport strike.
Valte said transport organizations complained about rampant extortion activities by some local government units (LGUs), policemen and traffic enforcers that affect their businesses.
They also raised the single-ticketing scheme being implemented in Metro Manila that impacts on drivers and operators, Valte said adding that the President assured them about government actions on those concerns.
The President also ordered a review of the Oil Deregulation law based on the proposals of the members of the transport sector, she added.
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