Challenge accepted: Panelo to commute to Malacañang on Friday

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 10, 2019   •   402

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

Formal complaint necessary for gov’t to act on alleged ‘pastillas’ scheme in BI

Marje Pelayo   •   February 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang vowed to take action on the reported anomaly inside the Bureau of Immigration (BI) over the so-called ‘pastillas’ scheme.

But the Palace said, it could only act on the matter once a formal complaint is filed.

“Any violation, any transgression, any anomaly, the Palace frowns on it and will act on it, if there are complaints formally filed before its office,” noted Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

Based on an expose by Senator Risa Hontiveros, BI personnel were allegedly taking bribes of up to P10,000 from Chinese nationals who wanted to enter and work in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) industry.

Panelo said the Palace is expecting BI Commissioner Jaime Morente to spearhead the investigation and enforce the necessary actions on involved BI personnel.

“The Immigration commissioner is tasked to do his job. Meaning, apart from the usual governing of his own territory, he has to know if there is an anomaly in his territory and respond to it,” the Palace Spokesperson said.

Five immigration officials were already relieved following the Senate inquiry yesterday.

Malacañang said President Rodrigo Duterte would not hesitate on stopping POGO operations in the country if evidence of corruption is proven because that would definitely have a huge impact on the country’s economy.

“Di ba sabi nga ni Presidente, ‘there is no sacred cow in this government. If it’s against the interest of the people and general welfare, I’ll stop it.’ This is the kind of President we have,” Panelo said. — MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

PNR unveils two new train sets

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 14, 2020

The Philippine National Railways (PNR) unveiled two new train sets on Friday (February 14).

The two 8100 series of diesel multiple unit (DMU) delivered from Indonesia will begin operating on Tuesday (February 18) from Tutuban to Alabang station. It is expected that these series can serve 1,000 passengers per trip.

Passengers may avail free rides during the trains’ 150-hour validation and static test which will last for 10 days.

PNR General Manager Junn Magno led the unwrapping of the 8100 series consisting of two (2) trainsets with four-car formation per set.

“With the additional new trains, ang estimate namin, the whole fleet can now accommodate additional 35,000 passengers, and it will be increasing in the next few years,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

MMDA to apprehend unregistered motorcycle taxis amid pilot test run

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 13, 2020

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said they will apprehend motorcycle taxis who are not registered in the pilot test run.

MMDA Chairman Jojo Garcia said apprehended motorcycle taxis will be impounded and the company they belong to might be blacklisted.

“Iyong mga nagu-uniporme na Angkas na wala sa master list, huhulihin namin kayo. Huwag ninyo po abusuhin (Those in Angkas uniform that are not in the master list, we will apprehend you. Don’t abuse it),” he said.

Motorcycle taxi companies were given a 15,000-biker cap in the number of drivers that will be registered for the pilot test run.

“So, I’m warning Angkas, Move It, and Joyride kung 15,000 lang iyong binigay sa inyong (if you only gave 15,000 on your list) , make sure it’s 15,000. Nothing more,” Garcia said.

Meanwhile, Motorcycle Taxi Service Inter-agency Technical Working Group Chairman Antonio Gardiola Jr. said Move It was not able to fill the 15,000-biker cap so the available slots will be up for redistribution.

“Starting today, the unused cap—the difference there can be taken advantage by the company na may (with) available riders diyan,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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