Clark International Airport expansion project to finish in 2020—DOTr

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 28, 2019   •   4486

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)

Around 1,000 repatriated seafarers from Norwegian cruise ship arrive home

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation  (DOTr) reported on Tuesday that around 1,000 Filipino crew members aboard a Norwegian cruise ship arrived in the Philippines on Sunday (April 11).

The DOTr and its marine sector facilitated the arrival of approximately 1000 Filipino crew members aboard the MV “Norwegian Encore” at the Port of Manila.

The repatriated Filipino seafarers underwent profiling from the Department of Health and will undergo the mandatory quarantine and testing protocols set by the national government.

The said vessel will be used as the quarantine facility under the strict supervision of the Bureau of Quarantine.

The seafarers shall also undergo swab testing on the sixth day of their quarantine proper. Expenses for the swab tests will be subsidized through the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.

“The Philippines, having positioned itself as a crew change capital in the world through the DOTr and its maritime sector, commits to provide world-class services to international vessels needing fresh crew onboard amid the pandemic,” the DOTr said. -AAC

Filipino seafarers now part of gov’t COVID-19 vaccination priority group – DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   April 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino seafarers have moved up in the country’s list of priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced.

The DOTr said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has approved its recommendation to include Filipino sailors in the priority recipients as their work is considered crucial in keeping the economy afloat.

“This is a very good development for our maritime industry champions— our seafarers. Now, our Filipino seafarers will be given priority to be vaccinated,” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a statement.

“Paulit-ulit ko pong inilalarawan ang ating maritime workforce bilang mga silent workers ng bayan. They work silently, yet their contribution is as crucial as keeping the economy thriving. Not only are they frontliners, but they are undoubtedly HEROES, too,” he added.

From under B3 (other essential workers) or B5 (Overseas Filipino Workers) in the vaccination priority framework, Filipino seafarers have been reclassified under A4 (frontline personnel in essential sectors, including uniformed personnel and those in working sectors identified by the IATF as essential during ECQ) or the top 4 priority group.

Based on government data, there are a total of 549,000 active seafarers registered in the system. Around 497,000 of which are deployed overseas while 51,000 are serving locally. Meanwhile, a total of 181,000 seafarers are without updated sea service within the last three years.

In summary, there are 730,651 Filipino seafarers who are up for consideration in the A4 category, the DOTr said.

“The working group is in the unified position to push for the prioritization of Filipino seafarers in the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program to secure their employment, and to ensure the safe shipping operations of essential goods amid the pandemic,” DOTr Assistant Secretary Narciso Vingson Jr. added.

The DOTr said that top priority will be given to active seafarers or those with recorded sea service within the last three years, while new seafarers or those with last recorded sea service beyond 2018 shall be ranked second.

The national government is targeting to inoculate 70 million people this year but the country has so far received more than three million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

Malacañang earlier reported that more than a million Filipinos, mostly healthcare workers, have been inoculated against coronavirus disease.

DOTr to heighten security against colorum vehicles

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said it will strengthen its security to apprehend colorum or unauthorized vehicles.

This was after a video went viral showing a closed van from Southern Tagalog illegally ferrying passengers out of Metro Manila.

DOTr Asec. Mark Steven Pastor said the department is alarmed by the report especially when there is a surge of cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Nakakalungkot po na ibalita sa inyo na sa kabila ng pagtaas ng bilang ng COVID-19 cases. May mga kababayan pa rin po tayong pumupuslit sa iligal na pamamaraan particular ho dito sa Bicol na pinipili pong sumakay ng colorum. Dahil nga po sa colorum, wala pong health screening, wala pong nagbabantay kung APOR [Authorized Person Outside of Residence] po sila (It is saddening news despite the rising COVID-19 cases. We have fellow Filipinos illegally travelling, especially in Bicol, there are passengers opting to board colorum with no health screenings and they are not monitored if they are APOR),” he said.

The department already identified the persons of interest in the said viral video and already sent a show-cause order to them.

Other law enforcers also apprehended other colorum vehicles transporting passengers in and out of Metro Manila.

The DOTr said proven violators will be meted out a fine ranging from P50,000 to P1 million. -AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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