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DOTr eyes return of Sumitomo Corporation as MRT-3 maintenance provider

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, November 30th, 2017


MANILA, Philippines – The maintenance and rehabilitation work is expected to begin before the year ends.

There is huge chance that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) might bring back Sumitomo Corporation and its technical partner Mitsubishi heavy industries in the maintenance and rehabilitation of the Metro Rail Transit or MRT-3.

This has been the statement of the Department of Transportation or DOTr, Wednesday. It also assures the public that the government is doing its best to improve the services of MRT.

According to DOTr Assistant Secretary for Rails Timothy John Batan, Sumitomo Corporation is the first company being considered by the Transportation Department as the maintenance provider of the rail system.

“That’s part of the options the Department of Transportation is looking into. Because you know, that joint venture is the one that designed and built the MRT-3 in 1998 until 2000 and they are ones maintaining the MRT since 2000 until 2012,” Batan said.

The DOTr targets to get the services of the said company through government to government agreement and not by bidding.

Philippine Transport officials are currently coordinating with the Japanese Government regarding the matter. The agreement is expected to be signed before the year ends.

“The G2G agreement will pave way for the Official Development Assistance or ODA that can be used by the DOTr to look for a maintenance service provider.

The DOTr said the contract would also contain the rehabilitation of MRT so the trains could return to its original performance.

However, the Transportation Department has yet to determine the amount it will pay Sumitomo for its services.

Sumitomo was the maintenance provider of MRT in the first 12 years of its operation.

It was also the company that designed the MRT.

Meanwhile, the National Bureau of Investigation conducted another inspection earlier at the depot of MRT.

The inspection is in connection with the NBI’s investigation on the decoupling of coaches last November 16.

In the said inspection, MRT engineers showed NBI the system of attachment of trains. – Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue

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DOTr to consider grievances of drivers, operators on the Jeepney Modernization Program

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — Some transport groups have once again expressed their concerns on the implementation of the Jeepney Modernization Program of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) next year.

They claim many drivers are concerned about losing their livelihood once the program begins.

“Ang jeepneys ang sumalo sa dapat na tungkulin ng pamahalaan (the jeepneys shoulder what should be the government’s responsibilities),” Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) national president, George San Mateo said.

Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization (ACTO) national president, Efren De Luna fears that their units will fall short in the examination.

“Ang pinagbabatayan nila sa examine yung mga bago nang makina. Mga surplus po kami, baka di kami maangkop na baka pagdating ng January walang pumasa sa MVIS (Motor Vehicle Inspection System),” said De Luna.

(In the examination, they use latest engine models as the standard. Ours are only surplus, we might not be deemed suitable that come January we will not pass the MVIS.)

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, meanwhile, explained the said program underwent consultation.

Tugade said the groups cannot use as an excuse the P1.5-million tag price of modern jeepneys because there are also models that cost P800,000.

The Transportation chief also said that jeepney drivers and operators should not be afraid to invest but rather think of the return of investment they can get with the new jeepney models.

Senator Vicente Sotto III suggested easing up on the implementation of the program.

“Let the river flow. Pupunta at pupunta sila diyan sa moderno pag nakita na nila. Pero ngayon pa lang eh dinidiktahan nating ganyan, mahihirapan tayo (Let the river flow. They will eventually go with modernization once they see it. But if we force it on them, we’ll have difficulty),” Sen. Vicente Sotto III said.

Tugade responded, “That will be recon and deliberated upon and considered within that time frame of 3 years.”

The DOTr vowed to take into consideration the concerns of various stakeholders in the implementation of the said program.

Senator Grace Poe, meanwhile, appealed to the Transportation chief to also allow old jeepney units to operate if these will pass safety standards.

Tugade reminded Poe of the safety standards that must be followed such as having the door on the side and not on the back.

 

The senator urged the DOTr to allow the transport sector to adjust to the new program before fully implementing it.

Magkaroon muna ng pilot projects. Hindi pwedeng sabay-sabay lahat ng areas. Siguro kung compliance sa safety, roadworthiness at saka yung emissions, pwede munang iyon ang unahin (There should be pilot projects first. You can’t have it in all areas simultaneously. If its compliance with safety, roadworthiness and emissions, maybe we can start with that),” Poe said. – Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

 

 

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First phase of a new terminal at Clark Int’l Airport to begin next month

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, December 1st, 2017

PAMPANGA, Philippines — Airport officials believe there is a need to construct new airport terminals in Clark, Pampanga due to the increasing number of passengers at the Clark International Airport.

According to the figures of the Construction Industry Arbitration Commission (CIAC), the said airport has 1.4 million passengers this year, bigger than last year, which was at 1.3 million passengers.

Due to the increase, officials of CIAC believe there is a need to build another airport terminal.

“We are at the first phase. What does the first phase contain? The first phase contains a new terminal project. This means we will build a new terminal, new passenger terminal building,” CIAC CEO Mr. Alexander Cauguiran said.

“Aside from this building, we will construct as well a secondary road network that would connect the terminal to the SCTEX so that passengers will no longer have to pass through the middle of the zone. And then of course the transportation hub and the horizontal project. These five components are incorporated in the first phase,”  he added.

The said project will begin in December of this year and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020.

“The government, President Duterte, and DOTR want the BCDA to finish it by the first quarter of 2020. From there, once the market becomes vibrant, we can see its results. It will take years before we can implement the second phase,” Cauguiran said.

The soon to be constructed terminal is expected to accommodate up to 8 million passengers.

With a second terminal, the Clark Airport can accommodate a total of more than 12 million passengers.

The construction of the new terminal is expected to cost the government P12 to P15 billion. – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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DOTr Usec. for rails Cesar Chavez resigns

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, November 24th, 2017


MANILA, Philippines – After one year of service in the government, Cesar Chavez submitted his irrevocable resignation to President Rodrigo Duterte as undersecretary for railways of the Department of Transportation.

Chavez said he decided to resign after the decoupling of MRT trains last November 16 between the stations of Ayala and Buendia.

“When the train coaches decoupled, I already made up my mind to file a resignation immediately after. We cannot just always blame the past… this is our responsibility, more particularly, this is my responsibility as undersecretary for railways.

He also clarified that his resignation is voluntary and denied rumors that other personalities pressured him to leave his post.

In the resignation letter he presented to the media, stated there that his resignation is just a, “simple sense of delicadeza.”

Chavez also believes his resignation would pave way for the Department of Transportation (DOT) to look for other more qualified individual for the said position.

Some lawmakers, meanwhile, have expressed regret over the resignation of Chavez.

While others believe the DOTr official is just running away from his liabilities.

“After several glitches, maybe he realized that his decisions were wrong. That’s why he decided to just resign so that others would resolve the problem,” Liberal Party president, Senator Francis Pangilinan said.

Meanwhile, in a statement, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade denied he ordered Chavez to resign.

In fact, Tugade claimed, he was also shocked by Chavez’s decision and clarified that he still completely trusts him.

Chavez said after his work in the government, he will rest and spend time with his family. He also thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for giving him support and trusting him.

It was in October 2016 when Chavez swore an oath as the undersecretary for rails of the DOTr. He replaced then resigned Noel Kintanar.

He previously served as the deputy administrator of the Light Rail Transit Authority from 2004 to 2010. Chavez led some successful projects in the rail sector like the construction of the LRT line one extension from Monumento in Caloocan City to North Avenue in Quezon City. – Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue

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