Classes suspended on Monday

THE CITY government has suspended classes in all levels on Monday, Oct. 16, due to the planned nationwide transport strike.

 “Classes from kindergarten to college will be suspended,” Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said in a statement.

 The mayor said she “fully respect the planned transport strike.”

 Carpio said the local government will deploy buses to assist passengers.

 “Let us all take this opportunity to observe the streets with fewer jeepneys and more buses as envisioned in the High Priority Bus System (HPBS) project for the Dabawenyos,” Carpio said.

 In her State of the City Address, Carpio said the city is working with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the HPBS, in which the city envisions to phase out jeepneys in favor of the buses.

 Carpio said she is pushing a shift from the “outdated and expensive” public utility jeepneys to a “more convenient, cleaner, and faster mode of transportation.”

 “We do not want our jeepney drivers to be poor and sickly, we want drivers to become entrepreneurs and invest in the HPBS project. In this way, they become our partners to a modernized transport system for the city,” Duterte said.

 Duterte advised protesters to practice self-restraint, as she will not tolerate any misbehavior during the strike.

 She added that Traffic Chief Dionisio Abude will be the point person for the city government during the strike.

 Jeepney drivers in the city are joining the transport strike organized by militant group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON) in protest of the national government’s public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program.

 The transport strike on Monday will be Piston’s third protest against the modernization program planned by the Department of Transportation.

 PISTON president George San Mateo was sued by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) after his group staged a jeepney strike last February for allegedly violating the Public Service Act.