DOTr defends bid to grant emergency powers to Duterte
Maris Federez • September 5, 2019 • 654
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Thursday (Sept. 5) appealed to the House of Representatives (HOR) to grant emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte.
This is to give the government more latitude in addressing the traffic problems, particularly in Metro Manila.
While DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade agrees to the lawmakers that several traffic strategies can be implemented even without any grant of emergency powers to the executive, he said such implementation will be slow and might not still be completed even after their term in office has ended.
Tugade further said government projects that are aimed at solving the traffic problems in the country may even be stalled by the long processes in the bureaucracy and even by some laws, such as, on the Right of Way.
To which some members of the House disagree.
“In other countries, no emergency powers were granted to the executive to solve the traffic congestion,” said Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman.
Tugade, on the other hand, said, “emergency power is not forever. It has a defined time. In fact, sinasabi ho namin noon at uulitin ko ngayon, yung emergency power noon was between two to three years kung naibigay ho noon yan [we’d been saying ever since, and I’m saying it again, the emergency powers (we’ve been asking then) was between two and three years, if it had been granted then].”
Earlier on Thursday, the DOTr presented to the House their P147-billion proposed budget for 2020.
A major portion of this will be allocated to the railway sector with P108-billion budget, or equivalent to 98.78% of the department’s total budget.
The department believes that improving the railway sector will be a big help in easing the transportation problems not just in Metro Manila but in other key areas in the country as well. (from the report of Vincent Arboleda) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Nancy Binay on Tuesday challenged Transportation officials to take public transport going to work so they can experience firsthand the daily struggles of commuters
This was after hundreds of commuters were stranded on the first day of the implementation of general community quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila and other areas as part of the national government’s decision to ease restrictions amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Binay insists that Transport officials must also experience the hardship of commuting to be able to understand the situation and come up with a more reasonable plan to help the riding public.
“Mabuti sila’t aircon ang mga sasakyan. Kung subukan kaya ng mga opisyal ng DOTr mag-commute papasok sa opisina? Dapat maramdaman nila ang hirap ng mga commuter, [Good for them that they have personal vehicles with air-conditioning, but would DOTr officials dare to commute to work? They should experience the hardships of commuters],” Binay said.
“They won’t be able to plan well if they don’t understand the people’s daily struggles.”
The lady senator emphasized that transport officials shouldn’t make an ‘experiment’ out of Filipino workers who have been suffering for months due to the COVID-19 crisis.
“Hindi po lahat ay may kotse, may motorsiklo o bisikleta. Hindi lahat kayang maglakad ng ilang kilometro sa gitna ng baha at ulan, [Not all people have cars, motorbikes, or bicycles. Not all people are able to walk long distances in heavy rain and flood],” Binay said.
“Our workers and the commuting public don’t deserve this kind of treatment.” she added.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has yet to comment on the matter.
MANILA, Philippines – The Davao City government is proposing for the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to impose a policy requiring airline passengers to undergo a health screening before departure.
In an interview at the Davao City Disaster Radio on Monday, Mayor Sara Duterte said the city government has been eyeing to implement this requirement for people flying out of Davao City to ensure that all airline passengers are free from novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Duterte said they have already proposed this to the DOTr considering that it is more difficult to conduct contact tracing if ever one passenger later turns out positive of the dreaded disease.
She said the screening should be done one to three days before the scheduled flight.
“During sa discussion namo, niingon ang doctor, kung diri ta mag-check ang mahitabo ana kung duna’y positive, mahurot ka-quarantine ang mga airport employees and pati mga airline crew. Nagsulti ang doctor dapat daw ang testing should be done before departure dili upon arrival,” she said.
(During our discussion, the doctor said that if we do the testing here, the worst case scenario is if one will test postive, all airport employees and airline crew will be placed on quarantine. The doctor said that the testing should be done before departure and not upon arrival.)
“So nagsulat mi sa DOTR ug sa national level, nagpadala ta og mga suggestions, nag-ingon ta nga diri sa Davao we will prepare testing before departure, so dapat ang tanang airports ang testing nila is before departure. So kung naa tay makuha nga positive sa mga pasahero, dili na siya makasakay,” she added.
(So we wrote a letter to the DOTr and to the national level, we sent suggestions that here in Davao, we will prepare testing before departure, so it should be done in all airports before departure. So if we find one positive possanger, then he/she ca no longer board the plane.)
Currently, the city only implements testing of passengers arriving via sweeper flights.
Mayor Sara also said that bus and van trips should also be arranged first before allowing commercial flights to resume.
“Nagsulti pud mi nga before i-resume ang commercial flights, ayuson sa ang bus trips ug vans, because kung naa ta’y commercial trips nga moabot ang [mouliay gawas sa Davao City] ma stranded siya sa airport tungod limited ang bus ug vans,” she said.
(We also informed them that before commercial flights resume, bus and van trips should be fixed first because if we allow commercial flights without transportation outside of Davao City) then they will be stranded here due to limited bus and van trips.)
The city currently allows one bus trip every day and it will be on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
MANILA, Philippines – Mabigat na daloy ng mga sasakyan sa kahabaan ng EDSA ang bumungad sa mga motorista sa unang araw ng general community quarantine (GCQ) sa Metro Manila.
Ito ay dahil sa bulto ng mga pribadong sasakyan, pampasaherong bus na ginamit sa augmentation program ng Department of Transportation (DOTr), at mga taxi at transport network vehicle service na pinayagan nang bumiyahe sa ilalim ng GCQ.
Nakadagdag rin sa pagsisikip ng trapiko sa kalsada ang pag-arangkada ng point-to-point (P2P) buses, shuttle services ng mga kumpanya at mga bisikleta.
Nagsimula na ring gamitin ngayong araw ng mga pampasaherong bus ang innermost lane ng EDSA.
Pero hindi natapos ang loading at unloading bay areas sa ilalim ng MRT-3 stations kaya apat na istasyon lang muna ang hihintuan ng mga bus upang magsakay at magbaba ng mga pasahero.
Ito ay ang North Avenue station, Quezon Avenue, Ayala at Taft Stations.
Batay sa patakaran ng Inter-Agency Task Force, limitado lang ang bilang ng mga pasaherong maaaring sumakay sa mga pampublikong sasakyan pang masunod ang panuntunan sa physical distancing.
Hindi rin lahat ng ruta ng pampasaherong bus ang pinayagang magbalik-pasada kaya pahirapan ang pagsakay ng mga pasahero.
May ilang pasahero na inabot ng ilang oras sa paghihintay ng masasakyan habang may iba namang naglakad na lang papasok sa trabaho.
Ang construction worker na si Jonathan Suico, madaling araw pa umalis sa Rizal ngunit naglakad rin pagdating sa may EDSA-Shaw Boulevard dahil walang masakyang bus papunta sa kanyang trabaho.
“Pupunta sana dun sa dulo kung may bus, eh ang masama nga eh, wala po eh. Wala pong magagawa po ma’am eh. Maglalakad na lang po,” ani Suico.
Humingi naman ng pang-unawa ang DOTr sa publiko sa limitadong transportasyon.
Ipinaalala rin ng kagawaran na naka-community quarantine pa rin naman ang Metro Manila at hindi pa maaaring lubusang magbalik-operasyon ang sektor ng transportasyon.
“Humihingi rin kami ng inyong pag-iintindi kasi nga ho, ‘wag nating kalimutan na tayo ay quarantine pa rin ho… At ang nangingibabaw po sa pagdating sa kagawaran ng transportasyon, ay ang inyong kalusugan, ang inyong kaligtasan,” ani Transportation Assistant Secretary Giovanni Lopez sa isang panayam sa UNTV ngayong Lunes.
Samantala, sinabi naman ni Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra III na pinag-aaralan na nila ang paglalagay ng bus stops sa Cubao at Ortigas Station kung saan malaki ang bulto ng mga pasahero.
“Nakita natin na full force ngayong araw yung mga bus na binigyan natin ng special permit so tuloy tuloy,” ani Delgra.
Tulad sa mga tren, limitado lang din sa 50-porsyento ng kapasidad ng mga pampublikong sasakyan ang bilang ng mga pasaherong maaaring isakay.
Dapat rin ay nasusunod sa mga ito ang physical distancing at iba pang health protocols upang maiwasan ang pagkalat ng coronavirus disease. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspendent Harlene Delgado)
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