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Military offers free rides on Monday’s transport holiday

MANILA, Philippines (PNA) – The Armed Forces of the Philippine (AFP) said Saturday it will offer free rides to stranded commuters on Monday during the planned nationwide transport holiday.

AFP public affairs office head Col. Arnulfo Burgos said the National Capital Region Command (NCRCOM), in coordination with the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), would provide free rides to affected commuters within Metro Manila.

On orders of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Oban Jr., NCRCOM will carry out “Libreng Sakay” operations by designating the Joint Task Force Land–NCR to provide necessary vehicles and manpower needed for the free ride.

Maj. Gen. Tristan Kison, NCRCOM commander, said: “A total of 27 military trucks, six buses, four towing trucks and a fire truck will be deployed to help affected and stranded commuters. I am designating one military personnel each vehicle to assist the passengers in loading and unloading. Two security personnel each vehicle will also be provided to ensure the safety and security of the passengers on board.”

When needed, NCRCOM will tap additional vehicles from the major services; Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force and Philippine Navy, general headquarters and Headquarters Service Command to augment the mobility requirements for the operations. Civil Disturbance Management teams will be placed on standby at strategic locations for the duration of the operations.

The militant transport group, PISTON declared the nationwide transport strike as part of its “No Blood for Oil” campaign, which capitalizes the issue of oil price hikes and the pending resolution of the Oil Deregulation Law in Congress.