Libreng sakay: Rundown of free rides for commuters amid SONA, transport strike on July 24

July 24, 2023 - 12:47 PM
Photo shows a jeepney and its passengers (Walter Bollozos/The Philippine STAR)

Several local government units in Metro Manila are offering free rides to passengers who might get stranded within their jurisdiction amid the transport strike.

The transport strike started on Monday, July 24. It is scheduled to end on Wednesday, July 26.

Transport group Manibela claimed that at least 40,000 jeepney drivers are also expected to join the massive protest in Metro Manila, and 200,000 jeepney drivers nationwide.

The transport strike also falls on the day President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is expected to deliver his second State of the Nation Address.

Several progressive groups are holding protests in various parts of the metro.

The country is also bracing for the impact of Typhoon “Egay” (international name: “Doksuri). Storm signals 1 to 3 were already raised over some parts of the Philippines.

In view of the transport strike and the typhoon, the national government suspended all work in government offices and classes in public schools in the region on Monday.

Work and classes in the private sector, meanwhile, are given the discretion to issue suspensions among their employees and students.

To facilitate commuters who will be affected by the July 24 events, several local government units (LGU) in Metro Manila launched free ride initiatives for their constituents.

Parañaque City

Parañaque Mayor Eric Olivarez announced that 40 government vehicles will be deployed for the city’s “Libreng Sakay” program.

The route of these vehicles is from Dr. A. Santos Avenue or Sucat Road going to the following destinations:

  • Baclaran
  • Ninoy Aquino Avenue
  • Quirino Avenue
  • East Service Road
  • West Service Road

The Parañaque Traffic and Parking Management Office (TPMO) also temporarily suspended the expanded number coding in the city.

The truck ban policy, however, will still be implemented from 9 a.m., and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Taguig City

The Taguig City government announced free rides along the route of Sta. Ana Plaza-San Joaquin, citing the area to be affected by the transport strike in the city.

The city government, however, assured its residents that it will deploy more vehicles should more routes get included in the street demonstration.

“Batay sa impormasyon, tanging ang ruta ng Sta. Ana Plaza-San Joaquin lamang ang maaapektuhan ng tigil-pasada,” the government said.

“Ganoon pa man, nakahanda ang pamahalaang lungsod kung kakailanganing magbigay ng libreng sakay sa iba pang lugar,” it added.

City of Manila

The City of Manila provided a total of 42 vehicles to passengers who will be stranded in the city. The types of vehicles offered for free are:

  • Three pick-ups, two transporters, one Mobile Command Unit, and one mobile clinic for the transport of passengers from the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRRMO)
  • Twenty e-tricycles to service the side street of Manila from the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB)
  • Fourteen police mobiles from the Manila Police District (MPD)

In an advisory, Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan directed the MTPB and its enforcers to identify and respond to the areas with passengers who needed help to be ferried.

Pasig City

The Pasig City government will also offer free rides to residents who needed them.

The routes and schedules, however, are yet to be announced on its Facebook account.

The city government said that it is still coordinating with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on the routes that will be affected by the strike in the city.

“Antabayanan ang post ng Pasig City Public Information Office para sa magiging schedule at ruta ng Libreng Sakay,” it said.

There are no updates about this initiative on its Facebook account, as of writing.

Malabon City

Free rides are already being offered in Malabon City since 5 a.m. on Monday.

The city government also said that police and fire personnel, along with other local officials, were directed to keep watch to ensure the safety of all its residents.

“Upang masigurado ang kapakanan ng lahat, 345 ng tauhan ng Philippine National Police (PNP) ang magbabantay sa lahat ng PCP. Ang ating Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) naman ay magsasagawa ng patuloy na pagsubaybay sa buong lungsod habang magtatalaga rin ang PSTMO ng 60 na tauhan para tumulong. Kasama rin ang ating mga barangay sa masusing pagsusubaybay ng sitwasyon at nakahandang tumulong,” its statement said.

Quezon City

Three Quezon City buses and 142 barangay vehicles were prepared to ferry residents affected by the rallies, the typhoon, and the SONA in different parts of the city.

The Quezon City government uploaded on Facebook guidelines on the routes and schedules of these free trips.

Marcos’s second SONA would take place at 4 p.m. at the Batasang Pambansa Complex along Commonwealth Avenue in the city.

Armed Forces of the Philippines

To further reinforce the LGUs’ response to commuter needs, the AFP announced that it would also be providing 17 military trucks, buses and coasters.

These vehicles are from the AFP Major Services and AFP Logistics Command.