This morning, I was amazed with what's happening along Commonwealth Avenue. It is a Monday, the first day of work, so it will be normal if there are hordes of people waiting/fighting for a ride on buses, jeepneys, taxis, and other mode of public transport. However, I noticed that the number of people along the avenue is way to many than the normal number of commuters on a Monday. They are too many (and impatient) that they already occupied half of the west-bound lane of Commonwealth Avenue.
Waiting for the bus that never comes.
My amazement grew when I saw Army trucks plying along Commonwealth Avenue. Is there a coup d'etat? I guess not since the Army trucks are carrying civilians, not soldiers. I had a hard time riding a bus because there are very few bus that are passing by. Those few bus are already full to the brim and many commuters are holding precariously on anything that they could hold on at the edge of the door of the bus.
Luckily, I got the chance to run after an empty bus and managed to ride on it, even if I will stand from Quezon City to my destination in Manila. My fellow commuters ranted about the "tigil pasada" (transport holiday) of bus operators in protest of Metro Manila Development Authority's (MMDA) number coding scheme for public utility buses.
Actually, I am not mad with what they did this morning. I am just amazed and appalled at the effect of their tigil pasada. What ticked me off is the bus operators' palusot (excuses) as voiced out by Claire de la Fuente. See the video at gmanews.tv to see her palusot. Her message is at the end of the video.
These bus operators are saying that they did not do a tigil pasada. Their drivers was just confused and thought that there is indeed a strike. Claire de la Fuente said that most bus drivers do not have cellphones. Those who have cellphones have weak batteries so the cellphones are off. In other words, Claire is saying that they can't contact their drivers to tell them there is no transport strike.
Claire de la Fuente is treating the public like idiots! Hello, Claire...we have the same, or better IQ , than you do. Just tell us the truth. Just tell us that you are just using the commuters as hostages to make the MMDA bow down to bus operators.
Claire de la Fuente and gang should be punished for this. For a long time, they have been giving the public a disservice. First, they are not giving fair benefits to their drivers and this make them work overtime or force them to take shabu just to keep awake and drive - thus resulting to many accidents. Second, they do not give just compensation for those who suffered because of accidents involving their bus. And third, they are not serious about safety because they are not serious in maintaining their bus. All they think about is profit because they let old and dilapidated buses roam Metro Manila.
It is time to break the stranglehold of these bus operators to Metro Manila commuters. LTFRB and MMDA must punish Claire de la Fuente and Gang.