Angkas, JoyRide get provisional authority to resume operations

Robie de Guzman   •   November 24, 2020   •   206

MANILA, Philippines – Ride-hailing service providers, Angkas and JoyRide on Tuesday received a go signal to resume their operations under the extended Motorcycle Taxi Pilot program, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said.

The DOTr said the Motorcycle Taxi Technical Working Group (MC Taxi TWG) issued the Provisional Authority to Operate for both firms.

“The provisional authority shall be valid from Nov. 24 until Dec. 9,” the department said in a statement.

The DOTr, however, said that Angkas still needs to comply with the requirements set forth by the National Task Force (NTF) and the MC Taxi TWG such as the provision of insurance for both rider and passenger in case of accidents.

Angkas and JoyRide also need to comply with the mandatory use of thermal scanners to accurately detect if the passenger has a fever (for discussion with the NTF).

Once Angkas and JoyRide are able to fully comply with the requirements, a Certificate of Compliance shall be issued to them by the MC Taxi TWG, the agency said.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases in October endorsed the resumption of a pilot study on the operation of motorcycle taxis.

The pilot study resumed on Monday, Nov. 23, as an extension of the pilot run to aid legislation on proposals to legalize motorcycle taxi services.

DOTr boosts testing capacity in NAIA as OFWs return for the holidays

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 17, 2020

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has boosted its One-Stop-Shop as more overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) return home for the holidays.

DOTr’s Office for the Transportation Security (OTS) Administrator Usec. Raul Del Rosario said this is to prevent the previous inconvenience caused by delayed COVID-19 test results.

Based on the OTS data, an estimated 5,000 OFWs arrive in the Philippines every day during the holidays.

Del Rosario also said additional Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel were deployed.

The One-Stop-Shop partnered with four COVID-testing laboratories to accommodate more OFWs.

Nagkaroon kami ng commitment among these laboratories, nag-commit sila na 24 hours ilalabas nila ang result at walang lalagpas ng 48 hours (We had a commitment among these laboratories. They committed to release the results in 24 hours and not exceeding 48 hours),” he said.

The One-Stop-Shop can process 10,000 swab tests per day, Del Rosario added.

Aside from the laboratories, there are also 21,000 slots available in hotels where OFWs can stay while waiting for their COVID-19 test results. -AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

Senate to begin probe on RFID cashless system on Dec. 17

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 14, 2020

The Senate will begin its investigation on the Toll Regulatory Board’s radio frequency identification (RFID) cashless system on Thursday (December 17), after its implementation caused heavy traffic along North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).

Senator Grace Poe, chairman of the Senate Public Services Committee, said they have also summoned the Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to provide an explanation on how to address the congestion amid the RFID implementation.

The committee will also look into the complaints about malfunctioning RFID readers.

“Nais nating maayos ang sitwasyon para sa ating mga kababayan, na hindi naman sila napeperwisyo at nahihirapang pumila doon at nakababad ng matagal. Pangalawa, nais nating malaman ano ba talaga ang naging dahilan kung bakit hindi maayos ang pagpapatakbo nito (We want to fix the situation for our fellowmen and spare them the inconvenience of queueing for hours. Secondly, we want to know the real reason for the lapses in its implementation),” she said in a statement. 

Poe said the cashless system should provide ease of travel for motorists along expressways as well as prevent them from getting infected with COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the lawmaker is also eyeing temporarily suspending the full implementation of the RFID cashless system. AAC

No penalty for motorists without RFID stickers until Jan. 11 — DOTr

Marje Pelayo   •   November 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The full implementation of cashless transactions in all major expressways in the country is all set for December 1.

This means all tollways will no longer accept cash payment in line with the government’s effort to curb the transmission of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

This is the reason why motorists are encouraged to secure RFID stickers as early as possible.

Motorists using the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), Cavite Expressway (CAVITEx) and the Cavite–Laguna Expressway (CALAEx) are required to have the Easy Trip RFID sticker.

Meanwhile, motorists plying the Skyway, South Luzon Expressway (SLEx), the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway (NAIAx), Star Tollway and the Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway (TPLEX) are required to have the Autosweep RFID sticker.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) clarified however, that the December 1 deadline is set only for tollway operators and it does not apply to motorists.

“Iyong pagkakabit po kasi ng RFID stickers ay magpapatuloy kahit matapos na ang December 2020 lalo na para doon sa mga first time toll users sa mga bagong sasakyan,” said DOTr ASec. Goddess Hope Libiran.

“Kung puno na ang slots sa online appointment systems doon ka po sa tollgate kakabitan,” she added.

The DOTr will have a transition period for motorists to have ample time to adapt to the system.

From December 1 to January 11, 2021, motorists without RFID stickers will not be penalized even if they pass the tollways.

“After January 11 hindi na po lahat ng lanes sa tollgate ay pwedeng maconvert na stickering lane. Maari lang po silang ma-tiketan kung sila po ay pipila doon sa RFID only lane lalo na kung sila ay magdudulot po ng aberya o ng abala dun sa mga sasakyan na nasa likuran nila,” Libiran said.

As the deadline approaches, the DOTr will intensify its RFID installation making it operational 24/7 aside from the online appointments and special lanes so that more motorists will be able to avail.

Meanwhile, tollway operators advised motorists to refrain from purchasing RFID stickers online to avoid problems and make sure the stickers are installed properly.

“We’re just imposing few more controls because ang pagkakabit ng sticker by the customers themselves. We also found out medyo prone to mistakes. Sa dami po ng klase ng sasakyan natin meron pa ring margin of error na pagdating po natin sa toll lane magkakaproblema,” reminded Atty Romulo Quimbo Jr, MPTC Chief Communications Officer.

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