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No suspension of classes amid ‘problematic’ transport strike —VP Sara

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte on Monday maintained that classes will still push through despite the week-long transport strike, which she described as “problematic.”

“We oppose it because it is problematic, it will hurt our learners, and the inconvenience that it may cause comes with an enormous price deleterious to learning recovery efforts —and this is a price that learners will have to pay,” she said.

Duterte, however, said classes will continue. 

“Magkaroon man ng tigil pasada, walang tigil sa pag-aaral ang mga kabataan.” 

(The students will continue with their studies even if there is a transport strike.)

Throughout the transport holiday, the Department of Education (DepEd) will implement both in-person and alternative delivery modes of learning. It has advised all regional directors and division superintendents to prepare for in-person classes and modular distance learning, depending on the circumstances in each locality or the preferences of the learners and their parents or guardians.

With this, several local government units in the National Capital Region (NCR) have shifted to blended learning or online classes to cope with the effects of the strike.

On the first day of the strike, transport group PISTON called on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to suspend the implementation of the guidelines for the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) modernization program, which seeks to replace traditional jeepneys with vehicles powered by more environment-friendly fuels.

PISTON said they would stop the strike if the government responds to their concerns.

Duterte lambasted this, reiterating that the transport strike is a “painful interference” in DepEd’s efforts to solve learning gaps and other issues in the education system.

She also continued to attack the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), which supported the call of the transport groups against the phase out of the old jeepneys.


ACT chairperson Vladimer Quetua on Sunday said it is “shameful” how Duterte resorted to red-tagging them instead of addressing the concerns of teachers and students due to the strike. 

House Deputy Minority Leader France Castro of ACT Teachers party-list, for her part, cried foul over the Vice President’s sweeping statements.

“Ipinakita lang ni VP, Secretary Duterte iyong kanyang kulay na siya iyong talagang red tagger. Kung talagang marunong siya ng imbestigasyon, hindi ganito ang kanyang sinasabi kaugnay sa ACT, at kaugnay sa ACT Teachers party-list.

Hindi masama ang pagsuporta sa mga kahilingan ng mga marginalized sector kagaya ng mga drivers,” Castro said in an interview on Monday.

(The Vice President showed her true colors: that she is a red-tagger. If she really knew better concerning the investigation, she won’t say those things in connection with the ACT Teachers party-list. Supporting the call of marginalized sectors like public utility vehicle drivers is not wrong.)

Castro then said that their opposition is grounded on what the sector needs.

“Kami naman ay pabor sa jeepney modernization, pero di dapat ganito ang pamamaraan na ginagawa ng DOTR (Department of Transportation). Dapat hayaan sila ng freedom of association, hayaan ang local producers na magproduce ng sarili nating modern jeepneys," she added.

(We are in favor of PUV modernization but this is not the way to do it for the DOTR. They (drivers) should have freedom of association and local industries should be allowed to produce modern jeepneys, too.)—VAL, GMA Integrated News