Clark International Airport expansion project to finish in 2020—DOTr

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 28, 2019   •   4270

Construction site of the PHP 12-billion Clark International Airport’s newest terminal | Courtesy: DOTr

The expansion project for the Clark International Airport in Pampanga is already 53 percent complete. It will be completed in 2020, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

The DOTr inspected the construction site on Wednesday (March 27) to check the status of the project. It will expand Clark International Airport by 100,000 square meters.

Once construction is finished in 2020, the airport can accommodate around 80 million passengers compared to the current capacity of 4 million passengers.

According to DOTr secretary Arthur Tugade, this is one of the solutions to lessen congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“If you have facility to an existing facility theoretically you are addressing the congestion how will it address? Of course you are now giving the travelling public the option NAIA or Clark? Clark becomes a very valid option because in 2 1/2 years you will see the train you will see the connections with SCTEX,” he said.

Tugade adds, this will also generate jobs for residents of Central Luzon.

The transportation department will also begin the construction of the second runway of the airport. This is to accommodate more flights and avoid delays such as the incident with Xiamen Air.

READ: Bad weather crash-lands Chinese plane at NAIA, no injuries reported

The president of Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) Jaime Melo said the runway will be around 2 kilometers (km) away from the first runway. He said it will be an independent simultaneous runway

“That means pwede pong lumapag ang aircraft sabay na sabay any end or maski magkabilang dulo but not on the same runway of course, (That means two aircraft can land at the same time, at any end but not on the same runway of course)” Melo adds.

The DOTr targets to finish the construction before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends.

The Clark International Airport is the second largest airport in the country.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Joan Nano)

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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