Senators appeal to DOTr to consider procurement of new coaches for MRT

admin   •   February 8, 2018   •   3381


MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line-3 has yet again experienced another breakdown at 10, Thursday morning.

According to MRT officials, the train encountered electrical failure which forced them to unload about 800 passengers at the northbound lane of Santolan-Annapolis station.

The defective train was immediately brought to the depot and the passengers loaded onto the next train.

As of 11 am, there were only seven trains in operation with 11 minutes arrival gap at each station.

Learning about the incident, some senators believe that with the continuous problems in the MRT operation, it is high time for the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to consider buying new coaches and return the 48 unused Dalian trains to China.

“So I think siguro umpisahan ni secretary. Desisyunan na lang niya kung anong gagawin sa Dalian na yan. Kung hindi na pwedeng gamitin, di mag-order na lang tayo ng train na bagay dun sa MRT,” said Senator Nancy Binay.

(So I think it should be initiated by the [Transportation] Secretary. He should just decide on what to do with those Dalian trains. If we cannot use those anymore, we should just order trains that are compatible with MRT.)

“Hindi talaga kasya, ‘wag nang pilitin. Mag-umpisa na tayong mag-order ng mga bago at isauli natin dahil nagawa iyan ng Singapore sa Dalian, sinauli sa kanila,” said Senator Grace Poe.

(It really doesn’t fit, don’t force it anymore. We should start ordering new ones and return the [Dalian trains] because it has been done by Singapore with Dalian, they returned it.)

Poe, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Services said that the DOTr should also decide now on the issue of MRT-maintenance provider.

“Tanungin na rin natin kung totoo bang merong interes ang Sumitomo o ang Japan na mag-takeover. Anong ginagawa nila, tuloy-tuloy na ba ang pag-uusap niyan? Kasi hanggang sa ngayon hindi pa rin malinaw kung sino ang papalit sa maintenance,” said Poe.

(Let’s also ask if Sumitomo or Japan is really interested in taking over. What are they doing? Are the talks still ongoing? Because until now, it’s still unclear who will take over maintenance.)

The 48 Dalian-train coaches are worth P3.8 billion.

The Philippine government has initially paid Dalian locomotive and rolling stock corporation P800 million.

These trains, however, remain unused as they are not compatible with the current system of the MRT. — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

 

PH ports ramp up screening process for travelers vs coronavirus threat

Robie de Guzman   •   January 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Airports, seaports and other transportation hub in the country will be ramping up screening processes for arrivals amid the threat of a new coronavirus strain spreading internationally, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Thursday.

In a statement, the DOTr said transit hubs in the country have been ordered to intensify measures to stop the illness from potentially entering the Philippines ahead of the expected influx of passengers for the celebration of Chinese New year on January 25.

“Please adopt all measures necessary and expedient to address the issue on coronavirus, considering world developments and the influx of passengers expected this Lunar New Year,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.

In response to Tugade’s directive, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines director general Jim Sydiongco said they have reactivated their communicable disease preparedness procedures and airport frontline personnel were advised to wear face masks, maintain proper hygiene and practice regular handwashing.

“Posting of public advisories informing about coronavirus infections and the strict monitoring of suspected passengers are also being enforced,” Sydiongco said.

He added that airport personnel were also directed to exercise extreme vigilance in handling passenger arrivals to strictly monitor those who are possibly infected by the virus.

Sydiongco also assured they are tightly monitoring arriving passengers, especially at the Kalibo International Airport, which has direct flights from Wuhan City in China – the area where the new strain of coronavirus was first detected on December 31, 2019.

The Philippine Ports Authority also ordered all ports in the country to intensify passenger screening at arrival areas, especially in places frequently visited by tourists such as Bohol and Caticlan in Aklan.

The Philippine Coast Guard, for its part, advised all its medical units to be on high alert to prevent the possible spread of new coronavirus strain in the country.

The DOTr also assured that stricter passenger screening processes are also in place land terminals and railway networks.

“As we implement preventive measures and stringent monitoring of passengers in our transportation hubs nationwide, we implore the public to cooperate with the authority and also be vigilant in their travels at all times,” Tugade said.

The death toll from the novel coronavirus called 2019-nCov has risen to 17, with over 400 individuals infected across China, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, United States, Taiwan and Macau.

There is no confirmed case yet of 2019-nCoV in the Philippines, according to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, but they are monitoring several individuals who were reported to have manifested symptoms of respiratory illness.

Common symptoms of 2019-nCoV include cough, throat irritation and fever. The World Health Organization (WHO) said novel coronavirus causes respiratory infections which may develop into severe cases such as pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death if left untreated.

Coronavirus, which is a large group of viruses common among animals, causes illness ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The virus can be transmitted to humans through contact with an infected person or animal.

DOTr-TWG: Pilot test run of motorcycle taxis to continue

Maris Federez   •   January 22, 2020

Members of the Riders of the Philippines (ROTP) advocacy group stage a protest motorcade to demonstrate against a ban on using motorbikes in ride-sharing platforms in Quezon City (Metro Manila), the Philippines, 16 December 2018. EPA-EFE FILE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation-Technical Working Group (DOTr-TWG) will not be pushing through with its plan to stop the pilot test run of motorcycle taxis in Metro Manila and Cebu following a meeting with concerned stakeholders on the new policies set by the government.

Motorcycle taxis can still operate with no fear of getting apprehended by authorities until the three-month pilot test run ends on March 23.

The decision was issued following an executive session of the DOTr-TWG officials with representatives of motorcycle taxi companies at the House of Representatives on Wednesday (Jan. 22).

“Sabi namin we are considering all sentiments yung recommendations that’s why we came up to this adding of area of study and the raising of the cap,” said DOTr-TWG chief Antonio Gardiola.

They also agreed to raise the cap of motorcycle taxi units that will be allowed to operate from 39,000 to 63,000, and to include Cagayan de Oro in the rest run.

Metro Manila will have a limit of 45,000 motorcycle taxi units in operation; while Cebu and CDO will have 9,000 each.

Angkas, JoyRide, and Move It will have an equal share of these numbers.

Meanwhile, Angkas has promised to withdraw the charges it filed before the court against the guidelines set by the government on motorcycle taxis.

“We are now in the spirit of collaboration we spoke with the secretary yesterday..we also headed to the opinions of the senators and on the good congressmen today […] hopefully we can get the success of the pilot for the necessary law to be passed,” Angkas Chief Transport Advocate George Royeca said.

The DOTr-TWG has likewise withdrawn its recommendation to blacklist Angkas in the pilot test run.

The agency has earlier recommended the termination of the pilot test run of motorcycle taxis due to the charges that Angkas filed.

The registration of motorcycle taxis is ongoing, while the TWG and concerned parties decide on its deadline.

The TWG will still not allow entry of new motorcycle taxi companies until the end of the pilot test run. — (from the report of Joan Nano) /mbmf

DOTr-MRT 3: ‘Suicide bomber’ caught in Taft Avenue part of security test

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 22, 2020

The Department of Transportation Metro Rail Transit (DOTr-MRT 3) clarified that the reports about a suicide bomber caught in Taft Avenue is only a part of their penetration test.

The DOTr-MRT 3 assured passengers that there was no real suicide bomber caught in Taft Avenue on Wednesday (January 22).

In a Facebook post, the department clarified it was only a part of their penetration test which aims to measure the alertness of security personnel in all MRT 3 stations.

“Wala pong dapat ipag-alala ang aming mga pasahero sapagkat ito ay isa lamang ‘penetration test’ na ginawa ng Philippine National Police (PNP) kahapon, 21 Enero 2020, 2:20 p.m. sa MRT-3 Cubao station, (Our passengers have nothing to worry about because this only a part of our ‘penetration test’ conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday, 21 January 2020, 2:20 p.m. at MRT-3 Cubao station)” their post reads.

The DOTr-MRT 3 reminds passengers not to easily believe in ‘fake news’ or wrong information circulating on social media. Passengers were also reminded to verify the information they receive and check with legitimate sources.—AAC

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