Commute Challenge: Panelo vows no security, media coverage

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 10, 2019   •   478

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo vows there will be no security and media coverage during his commute to Malacañang on Friday (October 11).

After accepting the challenge on Wednesday (October 9), Panelo clarified this was not his first time commuting. He also clarified that accepting the challenge was not a waste of time.

“When you share the suffering of other people in a different way, it’s not a waste of time. It’s sharing,” he said.

Panelo reiterated he really had no plans for press coverage so he did not disclose the time and place where he will begin his commute.

He is also not afraid of the possible threat to his security amid the backlash he has been receiving from netizens.

“Nakita ninyo na ba ako na may security ever since I assumed office in the government? None. Kahit sa mga biyahe ko sa abroad wala rin akong kasama, zero din ako,” he said.

Meanwhile, the presidential spokesperson still reiterated there is no mass transport crisis in Metro Manila.

“Since walang paralysis, walang crisis, but it doesn’t mean na di tayo nagsa-suffer. We are all suffering,” said Panelo.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Davao City holds test run of QR code system for Davao-bound passengers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 7, 2020

The Davao City government has begun its test run of the QR code system and online arrival form for all Davao-bound passengers.

“Through the online platform developed by the Davao City Information Technology Center (CITC), all passengers bound for Davao City will fill out the online form after they are issued boarding passes at the airport of origin. Each passenger will then be issued a unique QR code to be presented upon arrival at the Davao airport,” the local government said.

The trial run, set from October 7 to 11, aims to ensure a no-contact and paperless recording during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Dr. Josephine Villafuerte, the head of the Davao City Health Office, said this will also boost the city’s contact tracing system.

“Since it’s digital, the transmittal of cases found to be positive during the RT-PCR swab tests will be faster,” she said. AAC

MRT-3 begins earlier bus trips after commuter woes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 8, 2020

The MRT-3 management has set an earlier schedule for their bus augmentation after commuters experienced longer queues due to MRT-3’s suspended operations.

Roma Salazar, one of the commuters, said she had to adjust her travel time by two hours earlier after the MRT-3 halted its operations due to the spike in COVID-19 cases among its employees.

“Dapat kasi ang alis ko ng bahay 6:00 a.m. Since nawalan ng byahe ang MRT, inagahan ko nang alis nang 4:00 a.m. kasi expected ko na mahaba ang pila, (I usually leave at 6:00 a.m., but since MRT is closed I left the house at 4:00 a.m. I expected the lines would be long),” she said.

From the previous 5:30 a.m. schedule for the bus trips, the MRT-3 management set it at 5:00 a.m. on Wednesday (July 8). Several modified bus stops were also opened along the center island on EDSA.

The stations include: North Avenue, Quezon Avenue, Main Avenue, Santolan, Ortigas, Guadalupe, Ayala, and Taft Avenue.

However, this caused confusion among several commuters. Some of them had to walk to reach the modified bus stops.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Spokesperson Asec. Goddes Hope Libiran is appealing for public commuters’ understanding, saying the new protocols cater to their safety.

“Ito naman po ay hindi naman permanente. Interim lang po ito habang nagkakaroon ng problema sa ating MRT-3. Sa lalong madaling panahon, inaayos naman natin iyan para makababa at makasakay ulit sila doon sa mga istasyon na binababaan nila dati, (This is only temporary. This is only an interim while there are issues with MRT-3. We are fixing the matter as soon as possible so commuters can board and alight at the original stations)” she said. AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Expect longer queues at MRT-3 under the new normal

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 7, 2020

The Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) has warned its passengers to expect longer queues as they prepare to resume operations under the ‘new normal’.

The management will be implementing strict physical distancing where passengers are required to wear face masks. Senior citizens, pregnant women, and passengers ages 21 and below will not be allowed inside the MRT-3.

Passenger numbers will only be limited to 153 per train and those with high temperature will also not be allowed to enter.

According to MRT-3 Director for Operations Engr. Michael Capati, queues would take longer than an hour.

“They will have to allocate more time in their travel time. Kasi alam naman nila doon sa dati nating “normal”, mahaba ang pila. Matagal silang pumipila, much more dito sa ‘new normal’, mayroon compliance doon sa social distancing, (Because in the previous “normal”, lines were already long. They used to wait in line for hours, much more here in the ‘new normal’, there is compliance to social distancing),” he said.

With this, the MRT-3 management is recommending private companies to consider flexible work schedule to avoid overcrowding, especially during rush hours.

They are also planning to add more trains which include the three Dalian trains that passed in the decommissioning. Capati said there are 15 to 16 operational MRT-3 trains.

“Talgang kailangan mag-deploy ng more trains available (There is a need to deploy more available trains),” he said.

Meanwhile, the LRT-1 and LRT-2 are also preparing to implement new protocols under the ‘new normal’. LRT-2 will limit the number of passengers to 160 per train while LRT-1 will limit the number of passengers to 158. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)


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