DOTr officials to donate 14th month pay to Mindanao quake victims

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 6, 2019   •   344

Officials of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) have pledged to donate their 14th-month pay for the Mindanao quake relief efforts.

DOTr officials include DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, all undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, and the heads of DOTr attached agencies.

During the flag ceremony on Tuesday (November 5) at the DOTr head office in Pampanga) Tugade said an initial amount of P1.2 million has already been raised with the said pledge, and it is expected to be doubled by tomorrow with more donations from DOTr employees.

“Hindi importante kung gaano kalaki ang maiambag. Ang mahalaga ay madevelop natin ang psyche ng pagtulong sa kapwa (it doesn’t matter how much we can donate, what’s important is that we all develop the psyche of helping others),” he said.—AAC

DOTr-TWG to meet with stakeholders this week to discuss motorcycle taxi issues

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) inter-agency technical working group (TWG) is set to meet this week with stakeholders to discuss concerns involving motorcycle taxis.

In a statement, the TWG said it will consider sentiments raised by the members of the Senate committee on public services and motorcycle taxi operators following its announcement of the termination of the pilot run.

“The Inter-Agency TWG on Motorcycle Taxis is considering the sentiments raised by the members of the Senate Committee on Public Services, as well as by other stakeholders,” it said in a statement posted on Facebook.

“In fact, right after the Senate hearing, the TWG immediately convened to initially discuss such sentiments,” it added.

The statement was issued after TWG chairperson and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) member Antonio Gardiola said they have submitted a recommendation to terminate the pilot run on motorcycle-ride hailing services in the country.

Gardiola also said earlier motorcycle taxis will be considered illegal and will not be allowed to operate when they start the enforcement next week.

However, some senators urged the TWG to continue the pilot test until Congress amends the Republic Act 4136, which states that motorcycles are still considered as a private mode of transportation.

The TWG said these concerns will be discussed during their meeting on Wednesday and Friday this week.

“Afterwhich, a report shall be submitted to DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade,” it said.

“Another meeting shall likewise be conducted on Friday with stakeholders, resource persons, and the three motorcycle providers participating in the study, to iron out the specifics,” it added.

DOTr-TWG to terminate pilot run for motorcycle taxis

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Motorcycle taxis will be considered illegal and will not be allowed to operate starting next week, a transport official said Monday.

Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) inter-agency Technical Working Group (TWG) chairperson and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) member Antonio Gardiola said this is after submitting their recommendation to terminate the pilot run for motorcycle ride-hailing operations in the country.

“We submitted our recommendation to Congress this morning. This was favorably endorsed by our secretary, Secretary Arthur Tugade,” Gardiola said in an interview with reporters before a Senate hearing on bills seeking to regulate motorcycle taxis.

Gardiola explained they recommended the immediate termination of the implementation of the pilot study as they will not be able to gather data for analysis due to a legal case filed by one of the players.

“It’s really very significant but then it’s also half of the three months yung study natin. We cannot gather data because of the legal impediments,” he said.

“We are resorting to legal rigmarole sa nangyayaring ito. Bale nag-file sila ng kaso so nai-impede ang study… We cannot gather data because of actions being undertaken by one of the players so it is better to terminate it,” he added.

The implementation of the pilot run was approved in aid of legislation for both the House of Representatives and the Senate to evaluate pending bills pushing for the legalization of motorcycles as public utility vehicles, as well as amendment of existing laws such as Republic Act No. 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.

The pilot test, which started in May 2019, was initially set to end on December 26 but was extended with two new players – JoyRide and MoveIt.

The extension was supposed to end on March 23, 2020

A cap of 39,000 registered bikers – 10,000 bikers per Transport Network Company (TNC) for Metro Manila and 3,000 bikers each TNC for Metro Cebu operations – was also set.

Angkas questioned the set limit, and claimed there was politics involved in the inclusion of JoyRide in the pilot run.

The firm last week secured temporary restraining orders against the cap on riders.

Gardiola said with the recommendation termination of the pilot run, motorcycle taxis will no longer be allowed to operate.

“Iligal silang lahat kasi they are drawing their authority to run motorcycle because of the study. We know there is a law covering this, Republic Act 4136, it says that motorcycles are still considered as a private mode of transportation,” he said.

The LTFRB official said they will start the enforcement next week.

Danger remains as volcanic activities increase in Taal

Marje Pelayo   •   January 20, 2020

Aerial photos Taal Volcano eruption aftermath epa08135676 Handout aerial photo provided by the Office of Civil Defense shows the Taal Volcano crater in Batangas province, south of Manila, Philippines, 17 January 2020. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has kept the alert level at four, following the volcano’s eruption on 12 January 2020. EPA-EFE/OFFICE OF CIVIL DEFENSE HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

MANILA, Philippines – Over a week since Taal Volcano began its eruptive activity, danger still remains according to experts.

In fact, a total of 787 earthquakes have been recorded in the volcano island on Saturday (January 18) alone, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).

This frequency of ground shaking is double the number of all volcanic earthquakes recorded in the previous six days of Taal’s volcanic activity.

Over the weekend, more than 200 tremors were recorded within the range of magnitude 1.2 and 4.1, the PHIVOLCS said and on Sunday evening (January 19), the strongest shaking – magnitude 4.2 earthquake – was felt in Mabini, Batangas.

The volcano institute have also observed that Taal is producing about one-kilometer high white ash pillar and sulfur dioxide of around 1,442 tons each day.

Because of these observations, PHIVOLCS cannot just lift or downgrade Alert Level 4 that is currently in effect around the volcano island because the possibility of a massive explosive eruption remains high within hours or days.

Thus, PHIVOLCS strongly appeals for understanding and more patience from residents and reminds them not to return yet to their villages especially those within the 14-km danger zone.

Volcanic earthquakes recorded in Taal:

  • January 19 – 787
  • January 18 – 366
  • January 17 – 65
  • January 16 – 103
  • January 15 – 159
  • January 14 – 49
  • January 13 – 52

Source: PHIVOLCS

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