Airline companies agree to relocate flights to Sangley Airport

Robie de Guzman   •   June 14, 2019   •   3100

MANILA, Philippines – Airline companies have agreed to use Sangley Airport in Cavite for general aviation, freight turboprop operations, and commercial turboprop operations, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Thursday.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade made the announcement after he met with airline officials to discuss the immediate operationalization of Sangley airport and the government’s move to address aviation concerns.

The DOTr said general aviation refers to the operation of a civil aircraft other than a commercial air transport operation or aerial work operation.

“General aviation users will be notified to fully relocate in a year’s time to Clark International Airport (CRK) in Pampanga and Sangley Airport to help decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA),” Tugade said.

Tugade said the move will free up space in the four terminals of the NAIA to allow for improvements and additions in the main gateway.

The transportation chief added that during the meeting, airline companies have pledged to cooperate with the government’s move to open Sangley Airport, as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“It was a productive and mutually beneficial meeting. Airlines expressed their willingness and commitment to support the government’s thrust to utilize Sangley Airport. This is a solid demonstration of their trust and confidence in the administration of President Duterte,” Tugade said.

The DOTr said airline companies will sign a pledge of commitment and support on June 24, 2019 as a manifestation of cooperation with the government’s initiative.

At the meeting on Thursday, Tugade was joined by Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General Jim Sydiongco, Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla, Michael Tan of Philippine Airlines, Lance Gokongwei of Cebu Pacific, and Capt. Dexter Comendador of AirAsia.

Tugade earlier ordered the 24/7 construction of the Sangley Airport to meet the operational timeline set by President Rodrigo Duterte in decongesting NAIA.

First set of Dalian trains to hit MRT-3 tracks Tuesday

Robie de Guzman   •   October 15, 2019

The third set of MRT-3 trains that were purchased from Chinese firm CCRC Dalian

MANILA, Philippines – The first set of China-made Dalian trains will be deployed at the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) on Tuesday night, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced.

“Starting today, 15 October 2019, one Dalian train set (equivalent to three train coaches) will hit the tracks of MRT-3 mainline during evening off-peak hours, from 8:30PM to 10:30PM,” the DOTr said in a statement posted on Twitter.

The DOTr said this development comes after MRT-3’s Japanese maintenance provider, Sumitomo Corporation-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries – TES Philippines signed a consent for the limited deployment on one Dalian train set.

The said consent, according to the DOTr, indicates that the train set will be deployed for an initial trial period until the maintenance provider begins its rail replacement works in November 2019.

“Currently, three Dalian train (9 train coaches) sets have already completed the necessary commissioning and validation tests including the 150-hour run. Each Dalian train set has a three-car configuration that can carry 1,050 passengers per trip,” the DOTr said.

Each train set can carry up to 1,050 passengers.

Around 48 Dalian trains were purchased by the Aquino administration for P3.8 billion but most of it have not been used over doubts of its compatibility with the current MRT tracks.

Its deployment was delayed as the MRT-3 management had to wait for the consent of Sumitomo Corp. which maintains and rehabilitates the line.

Challenge accepted: Panelo to commute to Malacañang on Friday

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 10, 2019

Presidential Spokesperson Salavador Panelo

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo has accepted the challenge to commute to Malacañang on Friday (October 11).

Panelo previously rejected the dare presented by Anakbayan on Tuesday (October 8) after the former refuted there is a “mass transport crisis” in Metro Manila.

But Panelo then accepted the challenge on Wednesday (October 9) and said he will commute from his home to Malacañang on Friday.

“The challenge to commute is accepted. This coming Friday I’ll take the jeepney and the LRT (Light Rail Transit) in going to work,” Panelo said in a text message.

Anakbayan also challenged Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Manila Metropolitan Development Authority (MMDA) Celine Pialago to “commute to work every day for a week to experience the hellish reality of our everyday commute”.—AAC

Poe wants P27M fund for road safety programs

Robie de Guzman   •   October 3, 2019

Senator Grace Poe ( EPA/MARK R. CRISTINO)

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe on Wednesday said she would move for the reinstatement of the P27-million fund for road safety programs, logistics, and equipment during the 2020 budget hearing of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

During the hearing of the Senate committee on public services on bills seeking to declare every third week of November as World Day of Remembrance for road crash victims, Transportation Undersecretary Mark Richmund de Leon revealed that the 2020 DOTr budget has no appropriation for road safety programs.

He said the road safety fund was lodged in the motor vehicle users’ charge that was modified last year.

“Unfortunately, ni piso, walang pondo (for road safety),” he said.

Poe, who chairs the committee, lamented the absence of the road safety fund and vowed to push for its allocation to purchase breathalyzers which are used to test the alcohol level of motorists.

“It has to be funded, it has to be a priority kasi prevention and safety are paramount in the transportation system that we have…Tingin ko naman, magagawan ng paraan kasi buhay ang poprotektahan,” Poe said in a separate interview.

In the same hearing, families of victims of car crash told the panel that a number of cases involving vehicular accidents have been dismissed due to lack of evidence such as proof that the driver was drunk because there was no test conducted.

“‘Yung ‘pag test kung lasing ang isang driver, kasama ‘yan sa road safety, pati ‘yung drivers’ education, at iba pang programa, kaya nga diumano mga P27 million ang budget na kailangan nila rito. Bukas, magkakaroon ng pagdinig ng DOTr para sa budget, gusto ko sanang ma-reinstate ang programa na ito,” Poe said.

Meanwhile, Poe also presided over the committee’s third technical working group which seeks to formulate a transportation master plan to alleviate the plight of commuters and motorists.

The senator said that the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) reported that the project list drafted in 2014 containing priority infrastructures is still being updated and completed.

The list that will come from various implementing government agencies will form the Roadmap 2.

Poe also said that NEDA reported another plan called the Philippine Transportation System Master Plan that would include projects outside the Greater Capital Region.

The plan is still being drafted and is expected to be completed in December.

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