Monday, February 27, 2017

Albay sets up countermeasures on nationwide transport strike
By Connie B. Destura

LEGAZPI CITY, Feb. 27 (PNA) -- The Albay Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) set up Monday morning "libreng sakay" or free rides as a countermeasure to the anticipated inconvenience that would be brought about by the the day-long nationwide transport strike.

The strike is being participated in by different transport groups across the Bicol Region.

Army trucks are plying the Daraga-Legazpi routes, and also routes going to the first and third districts of Albay.

Most of the passengers availing the free rides are workers in the private and government offices as no suspension of office works was announced.

Early today, PDRRMC issued advisory number 1 that listed things to do in the entire duration of the strike.

The advisory suggested "early marketing and buying of food stuffs and medicines" to avoid inconvenience in going to markets and stores.

Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara said the main impact of a mass transport strike on public welfare is that it adversely affects the mobility of students, teachers, school faculties and office workers.

Bichara also asked students and the riding public to avoid going to malls and unnecessary movements until the public transport system in the province resumes.

"In order not to impede the access to health services during the transport strike, ambulances of local government units (LGUs) must be put on stand-by and be pre-positioned for the immediate disposition by the mayors," Bichara added.

Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal has ordered the suspension of classes in all levels within the city.

Mayors Gemma Onghoco of Guinobatan, and Jerry Jaucian of Daraga also suspended the classes in their jurisdiction.

State-run Bicol University (BU) and priest-administered Aquinas University of Legazpi (AUL) earlier announced suspensions of their classes in all levels.

The Philippine National Police (PNP), the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and other offices involved in emergency response were directed to be on alert "in the interest of public safety." (PNA) LAP/CBD/