• Photos from the protests have since made rounds on social media
  • There will also be protests across different parts of the country
  • The PCO said 11 major transport groups would not participate in the strike

Protests broke out across parts of Metro Manila on Monday morning as jeepney drivers and operators kicked off a weeklong nationwide transport strike in opposition to the government's Jeepney Modernization Program, which requires modernized jeepneys by the end of the year.

Mody Floranda, president of transport group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON), said the protest would begin at the University of Philippines (UP) Diliman, according to the Philippine Star.

Protesters would then form a caravan that would move to the main office of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) before bringing the demonstration to Delta, Quezon Avenue and then Mendiola, Floranda added.

There will also be protests across different parts of the country including Calabarzon, Bicol, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Ilocos region, Bulacan and Baguio City.

The transport group leader said only an executive order from President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to completely junk the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines that require phasing out traditional jeepneys would put an end to the week-long strike.

Photos from the protests have since made rounds on social media. Some of them show public utility vehicle drivers and operators in Monumento, Caloocan on Monday morning.

Another photo shows elderly members of the community joining the call for an end to the modernization program. Placards calling on drivers, operators and commuters to fight for their transport rights can also be seen in other photos taken from the protest.

Another group of protesters simultaneously staged a protest in PhilCoA in Quezon City. As per photos taken from the scene, protesting drivers were joined by other activist groups such as Anakpawis and NNARA-Youth.

The other activist organizations that joined the protest in PhilCoA included young women's group Gabriela Youth, Bayan Muna party list and LGBT+ advocacy group Bahaghari.

Some drivers and operators took to Agoncillo and Pedro Gil Streets in the City of Manila to hold protests as well, even though they were a smaller group compared to the ones in Monumento and PhilCoA.

Other sectors also gathered along University Avenue at UP Diliman to show support for jeepney drivers and operators staging the week-long strike.

NOW: Different sectors gather at the University Avenue to show solidarity against the jeepney phaseout. This marks the weeklong nationwide transport strike in opposition to the current PUV...

Floranda previously said modernizing jeepneys would burden operators largely as they may fall into debt while trying to adhere to the program's modernization requirements as well as maintenance-related costs.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reportedly continues to monitor the situation and has prepared some of its agency vehicles to help transport commuters if necessary.

The Manila Public Information Office (PIO) also said the Manila government has prepared more than 300 vehicles that will offer free rides to commuters should the transport strike cause major disruptions to transportation.

Meanwhile, several transport groups have assured that they will not join the nationwide strike, as per a press release from the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).

The PCO said 11 huge transport groups in Metro Manila have "strongly opposed the planned transport group strike." These groups include the Stop and Go Coalition, the National Federation of Transport Cooperatives (NFTC), Pasang Masda (PM) Jeepney and the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization (ACTO).

Philippines jeepneys
Traditional jeepneys in the Philippines. gloverbh222/Pixabay