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MMDA: Number coding stays despite strike threat

MANILA, Philippines, December 14 ------ The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will not lift the number coding scheme on Thursday and Friday despite a two-day strike by Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) to protest the modernization of the country’s jeepney fleet.  


MMDA Chair Romando Artes said he doubted that 100,000 jeepney drivers and operators would participate in the strike as claimed by Piston. “There’s already a heavy traffic flow and we know the consequence if we suspend the number coding, it will be an additional 20 percent on the volume of vehicles on the road. It will also affect the turnaround time of public transportation so we decided not to suspend the number coding,” Artes said. He believed that the previous transport strike staged by Piston and its allies in November had minimal disruption to public transport, but “despite that, we are always preparing because we need to ensure that there is a minimal impact and inconvenience to our riding public.” 


At any rate, free rides will be deployed in areas likely to be affected to minimize inconvenience to the riding public, Artes said. Among the areas identified that would be likely affected by the transport strike were Camanava (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela) and Parañaque. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday said the Dec. 31 deadline for the consolidation of public utility vehicle operators will not be extended. 




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