CONGRESSMAN Juan Carlos “Arjo” Atayde of Quezon City first district will be providing his own contingency plans like providing free rides to his district and nearby areas in anticipation of the week-long transport strike starting next week (March 6 to 12).
The 32-year-old first year lawmaker and young actor has expressed his willingness to mobilize his own 37 vehicles to 37 barangays to help the thousands of daily commuters from his district and nearby places that will be affected by the strike.
“In my own little way, I am willing to help my district and nearby areas here in QC by providing our own vehicles to help the commuters especially our medical frontliners,” Atayde said, adding that the government should come out with an alternative solution for the public commuters.
“We really need to have a plan to minimize the disruption of transportation during the strike. First of all, there must be stand-by trucks and buses ready for deployment to pick up stranded commuters all over different cities especially our medical frontliners, among others.”
Over 100,000 public utility vehicles (PUVs) are expected to participate in the week-long transport strike in opposition to the government’s PUV modernization program.
Atayde is also calling on transport groups to hold dialogues with concerned government agencies and exhaust all means of negotiation before resorting to the week-long strike.
“I am calling the attention of all the transport sectors to make this strike as their last resort because many public commuters will be affected, especially our office workers, students and our medical and hospital workers, among others,” Atayde added.
Most medical frontliners and public commuters, he explained, were all affected by the lack of public transportations during the time of Covid-19 pandemic — and Atayde is now asking for everyone’s cooperation to become part of the solution and not become part of the problem.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has already reached out to different public transport groups to discuss their concerns on the PUV Modernization Programs (PUVMP) in hopes of preventing the strike.
Transport groups are calling for the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) to withdraw its Circular Memorandum No. 2023-013 and further extend the franchise of traditional jeepneys to at least another five years.
The phaseout of the traditional jeepneys was extended though from June 30 until the end of December this year, according also to the LTFRB.
But Atayde and his team will remain vigilant and ready of what may happen this coming week.