CAB: Cebu Pacific won’t be fined over flight cancellations
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Wednesday, May 15th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) will not fine Cebu Pacific over its series of flight cancellations from April 28 to May 10, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Wednesday.
The DOTr explained that no fines will be imposed after CAB found that the concerns of passengers affected by the flight cancellations have been handled properly.
“Affected passengers’ concerns were found to be handled properly by Cebu Pacific in compliance with the Air Passenger Bill of Rights. Thus, the imposition of penalties was not considered at present,” the DOTr said in a statement.
Instead, the CAB directed Cebu Pacific to submit within 30 days a concrete plan stating measures it will take to prevent further inconvenience to passengers.
“We are hoping that Cebu Pacific will immediately comply with the order to resolve this issue. Hindi na natin maibabalik pa ‘yung dinulot na inconvenience these cancellations have caused. But moving forward, we aim to have more substantial actions so that our passengers will not have to suffer,” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said.
The air transport regulator also recommended that a stern warning be given to Cebu Pacific to exercise diligence necessary in maintaining stability and reliability of air transport service to the riding public.
The DOTr said that during its hearings held on May 2 and May 6, Cebu Pacific said that it was forced to cancel hundreds of its flights due to ongoing efforts to improve on-time performance (OTP) as its aircraft takes 49 to 66 minutes before being able to take off.
The flight cancellations will “create space” in their flight and crew inventory, “make way for operational recovery,” and “minimize rolling delays,” the Cebu Pacific noted.
CAB also found that the airliner had a “crewing problem,” as it concluded that “the additional time spent by the on-duty crew on the tarmac consumes the working hours and reserves that were supposed to be utilized at a much later schedule.”
While the CAB understands the cancellations as a recuperative measure for the airline, it pointed out that it cannot be made at the expense of the riding public.
“We want to remind airlines to consider the welfare of its passengers by avoiding short notice. The people have paid for these flights and have made their schedules accordingly,” CAB Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla said.
“While we understand the corrective measures being made to improve OTP, maximum effort should be done so that these measures are not at the expense of our passengers,” he added.
For the DOTr’s part, Secretary Tugade has directed the daily publication of airline OTP in major airports nationwide.
The DOTr noted Cebu Pacific’s OTP was pushed to an average of 51.16%, with lows of around 30% in March due to the hour-long stay on the tarmac. (with details from Joan Nano)
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Friday, May 10th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – Motorcycle ride-hailing company Angkas may now operate legally in the country beginning next month, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced on Friday.
After months of public clamor, motorcycle taxis can start picking up passengers again without fear of apprehension.
In a statement, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said he had approved the pilot operations of motorcycle taxis in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu from June until the end of 2019.
“Inaasahang magsisimula ang pilot implementation ng motorcycle taxi operations, katuwang ang ride-hailing service na Angkas, sa unang bahagi ng Hunyo o isang buwan matapos lagdaan ni Secretary Tugade ang General Guidelines sa pilot implementation, at kasunod ng pagpapatupad ng naaayong public awareness campaign,” he said.
However, Tugade clarified that the operation is just a test run for six months to help lawmakers finalize proposals on motorcycle ride booking.
“Importante ang pilot implementation na ito upang ma-refine pa natin ang general guidelines, at masilip ang mga posibleng problema sa proseso o sa standards, nang sa gayon ay makatulong tayo sa pagbabalangkas ng batas na talagang akma sa mga pangangailangan at kaligtasan ng ating mga commuter,” Tugade said.
He also reminded motorcycle taxi drivers to follow safety requirements, like wearing helmet and reflectorized vest; observing the 60-kilometer per hour speed limit and maintenance of motorcycle’s condition.
“Mariin naming binabalaan ang mgaride-hailing servicena sumunod sasafety requirements sa kanilang operasyon. Huwag ninyong sayangin ang tiwalang ipinagkaloob namin sa inyo sa pagbibigay ng serbisyo publiko sa mga commuter,” Tugade said.
The management of Angkas and its over 27,000 motorcycle units have welcomed the good news.
“We are very happy that Secretary Tugade is looking into this… We will definitely provide all the necessary updates on the application and also on the information campaign to the public,” said George Royeca, the head of Angkas regulatory and public affairs.
Angkas’ operation was suspended in November 2017 by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for operating without business permit and violating the land transportation and traffic code.
Angkas challenged the suspension order before the Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court, which issued a preliminary injunction against the order in September 2018.
After it resumed operations, the Supreme Court issued in December a temporary restraining order against Mandaluyong court ruling, suspending Angkas’ operations. (with details from Joan Nano)
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Tuesday, May 7th, 2019
The construction of the Light Rail Transit line-1 (LRT-1) Cavite extension finally kicked off on Tuesday (May 7), nearly five years after it was awarded to Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC).
A ceremony was held in Parañaque City to mark the beginning of the actual construction of the 11.7-kilometer railway extension of LRT-1.
In a statement posted on Facebook on Monday (May 6), the Department of Transportation (DOTr) clarified that Tuesday’s ceremony was conducted to signal the project’s full-blast construction and that its groundbreaking ceremony was actually held back in May 2017.
“Ang isinagawa noong May 2017 ay isang groundbreaking ceremony kung saan minarkahan natin ang simula ng pre-construction activities para sa LRT-1 Cavite Extension. Isang masalimuot na problemang inayos ng Department of Transportation (DOTr) at Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) sa pre-construction phase ng proyekto ay iyong tinatawag na Right of Way Acquisition (ROWA),” the statement read.
The DOTr said the project construction was delayed due to issues on right-of-way acquisition which began in 2007.
“Noong pumasok ang kasalukuyang administrasyon noong July 2016, 0% pa lang dito ang na-certify na “Free and Clear” ng Independent Consultant. As in zero. Pero hinabol natin ito, at sa wakas ay nagawa rin,” it added.
The agency also said they have since addressed issues fronting the project, including the relocation of informal settlers, utilities and the clearing of the construction yard.
“Maliban sa ROWA, nakumpleto natin ang relocation ng Informal Settler Families (ISFs), utilities, at ang paglilinis ng construction yard,” DOTr said.
The LRT-1 extension will start from Baclaran in Parañaque City to Bacoor, Cavite. It will consist of eight stations: Redemptorist, Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Avenue, Asia World, Dr. Santos, Las Piñas, Zapote, and Niog.
The DOTr said the railway extension’s partial operability is targeted to start within the fourth quarter of 2021 when the construction is completed.
The agency added it has prepared all the project requirements, including the mock-up of 120 Light Rail Vehicles (LRV) which were delivered in January 2019.
“Lahat ng kinakailangan para matuloy ang proyektong ito ay nakahanda na. Ang 120 Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs), na kung saan na-deliver na ang mock-up nito noong January 2019, ay on-track nang maipapadala para sa pagsisimula ng partial operations ng extension line sa 4th Quarter ng 2021,” it said.
“Napirmahan na rin nitong February 2019 ang kontrata para sa expansion ng Baclaran Depot at pagtatayo ng bagong Zapote Depot, at handa nang simulan ang mga ito,” it added.
The DOTr is also poised to begin the building of viaducts and stations of the LRT-1 Cavite extension to be managed by the LRMC.
“Ready na rin ang pagtatayo ng mga viaduct at mga istasyon sa pangangasiwa ng Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC), dahil certified na as “FREE AND CLEAR” ng Independent Consultant (IC) ang mahigit 90% ng Right of Way (ROW) ng Package 1,” the agency said.
The LRMC, for its part, said it will make use of a freecast yard system to prevent heavy traffic while the construction is ongoing.
“’Yung construction methodology po ay gumagamit ng freecast yard system, so ‘yung freecast components po ‘no ay hindi dadalhin sa street level po, hindi gagamitin sa wala pong traffic,” LRMC chief executive officer and president Juan Felipe Alfonso said during the ceremony.
Once the LRT-1 Cavite Extension is operational, the daily passenger traffic is expected to expand to 800,000 from the current 458,000.
The travel time will also be reduced by more than half, from one hour and 10 minutes to 25 minutes. (with details from Benedict Samson)
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Thursday, May 2nd, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The construction of Light Rail Transit line 1 (LRT-1) Cavite Extension will begin next week, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said.
In a Facebook post, DOTr said the actual works of the LRT-1 extension project will start on Tuesday, May 7.
The 11.7-kilometer railway extension of LRT-1 will start from Baclaran in Parañaque City to Bacoor Cavite. It will consist of eight stations: Redemptorist, Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Avenue, Asia World, Dr. Santos, Las Piñas, Zapote and Niog.
DOTr and the Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) target to start the railway extension’s partial operability when the construction is completed within the fourth quarter of 2021.
Once the LRT-1 Cavite Extension is operational, the daily passenger traffic is expected to increase.
The travel time will also be slashed by more than half, from one hour and 10 minutes to 25 minutes.
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