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

admin   •   February 8, 2018   •   3229


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

 

Poe family commemorates FPJ’s 80th birthday

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 20, 2019

Fernando Poe Jr.

The Poe family commemorated the 80th birthday of Fernando Poe Jr. on Tuesday (Aug 20) at the Manila North Cemetery.

They also distributed grocery packs and toys to some 200 indigent families.

Senator Grace Poe is still overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for their family.

“Kakaiba talaga ito kasi 15 taon na. Umulan o umaraw, halos hindi pa rin natitinag iyong mga nagmamahal kay FPJ (It is still overwhelming because it has been 15 years. Rain or shine, their love for FPJ is still there),” she said.

Lovi Poe, meanwhile, posted old photos of her father on her insta-story.

Poe eyes probe on plan to hike ATM fees

Robie de Guzman   •   August 16, 2019

Senator Grace Poe

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe is eyeing to investigate the reported plan to increase the fees for automated teller machine (ATM) transactions.

Poe, who chairs the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, said the resolution she filed is seeking to probe proposals to raise ATM charges that would further burden Filipino workers.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the senator said hiking ATM fees is “disadvantageous to an estimated 4.1 million minimum-wage earners who would need to carry the burden of these fees as many of them receive their salaries through ATM cards and withdraw from these machines at least twice a month.”

“The practice of imposing hefty bank fees, including ATM charges is financially disadvantageous to our country’s more than 58 million ATM cardholders,” she added.

Reports said several banks have applied for higher ATM fees, between 36% to 50%, after the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) lifted the moratorium on ATM fee increases.

Currently, bank charges range from P10 to P15 for interbank withdrawals and P2 for interbank balance inquiry.

Poe said she wants to know how much banks collect from these charges and why the customers are being made to shoulder the cost of what should be part of the banks’ services.

The senator would also ask the BSP about its next course of action after the moratorium on ATM fees lapsed.

READ: BSP says banks can’t hike ATM fees without approval

The BSP earlier assured that banks’ charges on ATM transactions won’t be increased without its approval, adding that each request for adjustment will be thoroughly examined.

Should the request for fee hike is found reasonable, clear and properly supported, the BSP said fees should be lower than the charges collected from transactions made over-the-counter (OTC), and comply with transparency in pricing.

Students’ exemption from PH airport terminal fees to begin August 1

Robie de Guzman   •   August 1, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Wednesday announced that beginning August 1, students will no longer have to pay terminal fees at all airports owned and operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

In an advisory posted on its Facebook page, the DOTr said a memorandum circular stipulating the waving of terminal fees for students has been signed by CAAP director general Jim Syndiongco.

LOOK: ‘MALASAKIT,’ AS PROMISED!Starting tomorrow, 01 August 2019, students will be exempted from paying terminal fees…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Wednesday, 31 July 2019

This policy applies to students who are currently enrolled in preschool to college, including in trade, arts, technical and vocational schools and training centers.

“Qualified students who will avail of the exemption shall apply for a student exemption certificate at Malasakit Help Desks located in airports,” the DOTr said.

Student passengers with flights starting August 1, 2019 and purchased tickets previously within a period of one year may “seek for refund of the terminal fee that was integrated into their airline tickets purchased at point of sale or online.”

The DOTr said refund may be claimed in all Malasakit Help Desks at CAAP-operated airports.

“All Malasakit Help Desks at CAAP-operated airports shall serve as refund counters until such time the airlines are able to facilitate the exemption in their booking system,” it said.

The DOTr earlier announced that students would get free rides from government-operated railway lines and exemption from terminal fees in seaports and airports across the country.

READ: Students to get free train rides, airport and seaport terminal fees

The agency said this initiative is part of the government’s efforts to provide Filipinos comfortable lives.

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