9 0 0 2 weeks ago 5 min to read

VP Sara: The transit strike interferes with efforts to close the achievement gap

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Sara Duterte, vice president and secretary of education, reaffirmed on Monday that the country’s recovery efforts to close learning gaps are negatively impacted by the week-long transport strike.

In a statement, Duterte emphasized how the decision is having an adverse effect on students and teachers because a sizable number of public utility jeepneys across the country are no longer operating.

The transport strike, she emphasized, is a significant impediment to our attempts to solve the learning gaps and other issues in our educational system.

We reject it because it is troublesome, it will harm our students, and the annoyance it may bring with it comes with a high cost that is detrimental to attempts to support learning recovery, she continued.

Duterte reiterated her opposition to the transport strike after the Association of Concerned Teachers (ACT)-Philippines and Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) voiced their displeasure with her weekend comments.

Moreover, the Department of Education (DepEd) emphasized that it would not order a nationwide suspension of classes.

“There may be a halt to transportation operations, but we won’t put the education of the young people on wait,” she declared.

DepEd previously stated that it would use alternate teaching strategies like online classes or the utilization of modules.

Factual statement

In the meantime, Duterte clarified that despite calling the action “communist-inspired,” she is not red-tagging the Association of Concerned Teachers (ACT)-Philippines and Pinagkalsang Samahan ng mga Tsuper and Operators Nationwide (PISTON).

“ACT, a group that is absolutely opposed to serving the interests of students and the education sector, is happily mingling with PISTON and other militant organizations. Not red-tagging at all. This is a factual statement,” she stated.

According to Duterte, some PISTON commanders and members have already been affected by the ideology of the New People’s Army (NPA), the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF), and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) (NPA).

The two groups have already denounced Duterte and expressed displeasure about her “red-tagging” comments about their respective groups.

Duterte criticized ACT on Sunday for endorsing the “pointless” transit strike that had been going on for a week.

“ACT exposes its true colors, showing that it is a group that does not actually represent the interests of students and teachers, by supporting this transit strike and brazenly harping distorted explanations for it. At this crucial juncture in our efforts to make up for learning losses, ACT should be aware that a week-long transport strike constitutes a learning disruption, she said.

Transport advocacy organizations urged President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to halt the rollout of the public utility vehicle modernization program.

In order to protest the planned phaseout of conventional jeepneys under the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program, nearly 40,000 drivers of public utility jeepneys and utility vehicles (UVs) agreed to participate in the weeklong strike earlier this week (PUVMP).

According to the Vice President’s Office, a new free-ride bus has been added to Valenzuela.

Five more OVP buses are currently providing free trips across the country: two in Metro Manila, one in Davao, one in Bacolod, and one in Cebu.

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