Metro Manila schools to fully implement distance learning during transport strike

March 3, 2023 - 5:52 PM
Undated photo of St. La Salle Hall at De La Salle University in Taft Avenue, Manila and undated photo of Ateneo de Manila University's administration building in Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City. (Photo from Philstar and George Aguilor via Google Maps)

As traditional jeepneys and UV Express drivers prepare to hold a week-long protest against the impending phaseout of their vehicles, some universities and colleges in Metro Manila have announced a full shift to distance learning in anticipation of demonstrations.

More than 100,000 drivers and operators are expected to join the transport strike from March 6 to 12 to convince the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to suspend the implementation of the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program.

Under the program, operators must surrender their individual franchises for consolidation into a Fleet Management System, pushing them to purchase 15 imported minibuses per route.

According to major transport group PISTON, only large corporations would have the financial capacity to buy 15 vehicles to operate a single route without being buried in debt.

They said a modern minibus costs around P2.4 million to P2.8 million per unit, while a traditional jeepney only costs P200,000 to P600,000.

An alliance of public transport commuters said the modernization might hike minimum fare rates to as high as P35, a blow to the riding public as the country deals with a staggering 8.7% inflation rate.

ALSO READ: Commuters rally behind transport groups’ week-long strike

Manibela national president Mar Valbuena said that around 40,000 jeepney and UV Express vehicles are expected to participate in the protests in Metro Manila alone.

He added that there would also be protests in Ilocos, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bacolod, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and Bicol.

This will be the first major coordinated transport strike since full passenger capacity resumed last March as industries resume their on-site work setup and schools return to face-to-face learning.

Metro Manila mayors said they would deploy available vehicles at their disposal to provide commuters with free rides during the week-long demonstrations.

According to the Metro Manila Council, the local government units will work together to augment other cities when the need arises.

Some LGUS have already released advisories about these on their respective Facebook pages like Taguig City

Meanwhile, Marikina City has announced that it would suspend face-to-face classes at all levels of public and private schools in its area. Schools will instead implement modular learning or online classes.

Here are other educational institutions temporarily shifting to full distance learning mode in light of the nationwide transport strikes next week:

University of the Philippines-Diliman 

Ateneo de Manila University

De La Salle University

University of Santo Tomas

Polytechnic University of the Philippines

San Beda University

Adamson University

Mapua University

University of the East

Colegio de San Juan Letran

Far Eastern University