MMDA’s Pialago to transport protesters: We won’t let you succeed

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The MMDA’s spokeswoman says the transport groups failed to make an impact with their strike (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 30) — The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will “never” let transport groups succeed in driving inconvenience among commuters, its spokeswoman said.

During a nationwide transport strike against the government’s public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program on Monday, MMDA Spokesperson Celine Pialago said the protesters failed to make an impact with their demonstration.

“They were not successful. The government will never allow them to be successful,” she told CNN Philippines’ Newsroom Ngayon.

Pialogo said they were able to accommodate stranded passengers amid the scarcity of jeepneys across Metro Manila. Transport officials deployed bus and “Libreng sakay” (free ride) services in anticipation of the strike.

Wala ng [There are no more] reported stranded passengers,” she reported as of 10 a.m.

Transport groups such as Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO) and the Stop and Go coalition are protesting against the jeepney and UV express modernization program due to the heavy costs. The government wants to phase out all old jeepneys and UV Express service vehicles by 2020 and replace them with units that have environment-friendly engines such as the Euro Diesel 4.

A modern jeepney costs more than ₱2 million, Stop and Go coalition President Jun Magno said, while government data showed that they were worth ₱1.2 million to ₱1.8 million.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Chairman Martin Delgra earlier warned these groups that they will suspend or cancel the franchises of those who will participate in transport strikes.

However, he maintained that there are still thousands who support the government’s initiative