DOTr, Marina to public: Know your rights as sea passengers

Marje Pelayo   •   April 12, 2019   •   1368

A ferry unloads passengers at Sasa Wharf Port in Davao City

BATANGAS CITY, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) together with Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) launched on Thursday (April 11) a public awareness campaign to educate sea passengers of their rights in case of untoward incidents during trips.

Inconveniences can come in different circumstances such as delays, cancellations or if the trip has been cut at mid port.

“Kailangan talaga ng public awareness para they have to be informed of their rights, anim iyon, para malaman nila so mayroon din tayong rights yung mga riding public natin sa barko din, (Public awareness is needed so they may be informed of their rights, there are six of them, for the riding public of sea vessels may also know),” Marina’s OIC Vice Admiral Narciso Vingson Jr. said during the launching of the campaign at Port of Batangas.

Problems that passengers may encounter include trip cancellation, overbooking, wrong booking or if the passenger has been stranded for at least 24 hours.

According to MARINA, sea passengers should be aware of the following rights:

  • Right to information – Passengers have to right to know the reason why their trip has been cancelled and the sailing schedule before the original schedule.
  • Right to refund – Passengers may opt to refund the corresponding amount in full of the cancelled ticket.
  • Right to revalidation of ticket – This is an option when the passenger decides not to make a refund. In this case, the passenger may ask to board the nearest sailing schedule of similar route as his original ticket.
  • Right to amenities – Shipping operators should also provide the passengers with free accommodation, food, access to communication facilities or gadgets, and even medical services when necessary.
  • Right to Compensation – If the shipping operator cannot provide for accommodation and food, then the passengers may demand for compensation equivalent to three days-worth of lodging expenses.
  • Right to comparable transport to intended destination – If the trip departed on schedule but was cut at mid port and was not able to reach the final destination, passengers may demand for an alternative transportation to his intended destination.

Shipping operators may announce the cancellation four hours before the intended departure.

In this case, the operator has no obligation to provide amenities to the affected passengers, therefore passengers are advised to monitor and be aware of the advisories from the shipping lines and all concerned agencies.

DOTr clarified, however, that these rights can only be availed if the reason for cancellation is on the shipping operator or of natural causes.

“Hindi ho kasama yung bad weather dito, ang kasama po dito yung mga delays caused by the vessel’s operators, (Bad weather is not included, only problems or delays caused by the vessel’s operators,)” Undersecretary Fernando Juan Perez of the DOTr Maritime Division said.

For complaints, Marina encourages passengers to report shipping operators who will violate their rights to Marina help desks stationed in sea ports or call Marina Enforcement Service at 632 521 8045 or 0995 400 7336. – Marje Pelayo

DOTr says QC-Bulacan MRT-7 project almost 50% complete

Robie de Guzman   •   November 11, 2019

Commonwealth Avenue

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Monday reported that the construction of the Metro Rail Transit line 7 (MRT-7) is now 49.22 percent complete more than three years after construction started.

In a statement on Facebook, the DOTr said that civil works of the underground/depressed, at-grade, and elevated guideway are in various stages of construction, while civil works of nine of the 14 stations are in full swing.

Trackwork installations are also ongoing.

“Likewise, the required rolling stock of 108 cars has been completed, and are awaiting shipment pending the availability of the depot/holding area,” it added.

PROGRESS REPORT: The Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) is now 49.22% COMPLETE, as of October 2019!Based on the latest…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Sunday, 10 November 2019

The 22-kilometer MRT-7 will connect Quezon City to San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan.

The line is expected to reduce travel time to 35 minutes from the current 2 to 3 hours.

The project is eyed to be completed by 2021, the DOTr said.

ASF disinfection facility in Batangas removed for causing traffic jam

Marje Pelayo   •   November 8, 2019

BATANGAS, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has put up its first automated road disinfection facility in South Luzon Expressway extension-STAR Tollway bio-security and quarantine checkpoint in Santo Tomas, Batangas early November.

The facility, which was inaugurated by Secretary William Dar himself, was established to avert the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) and to prevent the entry of other animal diseases into the province of Batangas.

But after only a week, the management of STAR Tollway decided to remove it arguing that the facility was causing heavy traffic in the area.

The toll management did not issue any official statement on the matter.

But according to Engineer Arnel de Mesa, the DA’s Regional Director for Calabarzon, they are actually looking for a larger area where they can place the facility without disrupting traffic.

“Ang alam ko lang doon sa Sto. Tomas kasi may arrangement doon sa STAR Tollway na hahanapan [ng lugar],” De Mesa said.

“Kasi noong nailagay doon, naka experience ng matinding traffic so i-mo-move doon sa area na hindi magko-cause ng matinding trapik,” he added.

Without the facility, quarantine personnel do not have any choice but to do manual disinfection of all vehicles bound for Batangas.

“This is one way of preventing the spread of any disease lalo na yung mga gulong kaya dun sa mga farm meron silang tinatawag na foot bath tsaka tire bath,” De Mesa explained.

“Karamihan kasi ng mga sakit nandiyan sa mga sapatos, nandiyan sa mga gulong, nasa mga sasakyan,” he added.

The DA is planning to install 12 automated road disinfection facilities in strategic locations across the region where most ASF infections were recorded.

“Para patuloy po ang ating bio security control measures, hindi lang para sa ASF kundi sa major economic diseases na mga alagang hayop sa Calabarzon,” he said.

Batangas, Laguna and Quezon remain ASF-free, De Mesa assured. – MNP (with reports from Sherwin Culubong)

Modern PUV units to start plying Nichols-PITX route on Nov. 11

Marje Pelayo   •   November 8, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program has started.

In line with this, a total of 15 modern PUV units will start plying the Nichols – Magallanes – Mall of Asia – Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) route starting November 11.

The new Class 2 PUV units manifest the standards set by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), equipped with air-conditioning units, CCTV, WiFi access, GPD and side entrance.

To comply with the environmental requirements, the modern PUV units use Euro-4 fuel.

On Thursday (November 7), Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade led the turnover ceremony and inspection of the modern jeepney from engine manufacturer Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC). He was joined by Pasang Masda President Ka Obet Martin.

Tugade thanked the Pasang Masda for supporting the government’s modernization program.

“Mapapahayag ko ang aking pasasalamat sa Pasang Masda, kay Ka Obet, na winawagayway at kinakalat sa buong kapuluan ang paniniwala nila sa modernization program,” Secretary Tugade said.

For his part, Martin vowed to support the administration’s PUV modernization initiatives on the intention of providing comfort to the riding public.

 “Wala pong ibang hangarin ang ating Pangulo kundi mabigyan ng maayos na serbisyo, mabigyan ng maayos na sasakyan ang ating mga kababayan ganun din po ang panuntunan ng ating Kalihim,” Martin noted.

Meanwhile, Tugade also announced the Department’s plan to release a Class 1 PUV unit which is cheaper and with larger capacity of up to 13 passengers.

IPC President Hajime Koso, likewise, expressed confidence that their vehicles “will be able to provide a more durable, comfortable, and safe transport solution for the riding public,”

“I have always believed that the Isuzu PUVs are truly a vehicle made by the Filipinos for the Filipinos. As they say in Tagalog, ‘gawang Pilipino, para sa Pilipino,’ he said.

Secretary Tugade calls on other PUV drivers and operators to join in the government’s PUV modernization program for their benefit and the general public as well.

“Believe in the modernization program. Believe that the government will be one in you in giving the support and cooperation, so we can launch the modernization program to its really, good, ultimate culmination,” he concluded.

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