By ARGYLL CYRUS B. GEDUCOS
Contrary to the earlier announcement, President Duterte has suspended classes in all levels, public and private, and government work nationwide anew on Tuesday, October 17.
This is due to the second day of the nationwide transport strike and due to the bad weather condition.
In a text message, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar retracted his earlier statement about the resumption of classes.
“ES (Executive Secretary Salvador) Medialdea suspended government work and classes for all levels tomorrow, October 17, nationwide due to the transport strike, public health and safety,” Andanar said.
“May transport strike, ulan, bagyo at walang masakyan. Baka magkasakit mga kawani ng gobyerno at mga estudyante kung maulanan at walang masakyan (There’s a transport strike and then there’s the bad weather. Government workers and students might get sick),” he added.
When asked why the sudden retraction, Andanar responded with “PRRD decision”, referring to President Duterte.
Both Andanar and Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella earlier announced the resumption of classes a few minutes before 7 p.m. The announcement about the suspension was made at around 10:30 p.m. Monday.
This was upon the recommendation of the Joint Quick Response Team (JQRT) on Transportation which said that the strike led by the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) barely affected the riding public.
“Be that as it may, the contingency preparation today will remain for tomorrow,” he added.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has also recommended to Malacañang to not suspend government work and classes on Tuesday, saying that the first day of the nationwide strike barely affected the country’s transport sector.
Jeepney drivers and operators led by the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) held the first day of their two-day nationwide transport strike Monday. Malacañang, in response, suspended classes and government work for October 16.
The two-day strike is being held in protest to the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) of the government.