Metro Manila, Philippines – A transport strike in Metro Manila, led by around 600 drivers protesting the public utility vehicle modernization program, has prompted local government units and state agencies to offer free ride services ('libreng sakay') to alleviate the impact on commuters. The strike, which began on Monday, is the first in a planned three-day series of protests.
According to Philippines News Agency, they deployed 48 vehicles to assist commuters, and 56 additional vehicles are on standby. NCRPO chief Maj. Gen. Jose Melencio Nartatez Jr. reported that 5,080 personnel from the Civil Disturbance Management contingents and Reactionary Standby Support Force were positioned to secure passenger pickup and dropoff points and transportation hubs. Nartatez also stated that 602 personnel were deployed at border control points in Metro Manila to conduct checkpoints. He added that no incidents of violence or hostilities were reported in relation to the strike. The protest is primarily led by members of the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide.