DOTr orders suspension of LTFRB Exec. Dir. Jardin over corruption allegations

Maris Federez   •   April 5, 2019   •   1177

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Executive Director Samuel Jardin

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade has ordered the preventive suspension of Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Executive Director Samuel Jardin over allegations of corruption.

According to the DOTr’s press release, a formal complaint was also filed against Jardin for grave misconduct, wherein he allegedly solicited money amounting to PhP4.8 million in exchange for facilitating and granting the application for a Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC).

As part of the internal investigation of the DOTr, Jardin is required to submit a Verified Answer, including documentary evidence, within three days from receipt of the formal charge.

The news release maintained that Secretary Tugade has strongly reiterated that any corrupt deed, or the perception thereof, in the ranks of the DOTr offices and attached agencies will not be tolerated.

During the DOTr flag raising ceremony at the central office in Clark, Pampanga on Tuesday (April 2), Tudage announced that two high-ranking officials, then unnamed, will be meted orders of preventive suspension for alleged involvement in corruption.

With this, the DOTr issued a stern warning that disciplinary action shall come swift and unrelenting to any official or employee, no matter the rank, for the slightest hint of corruption.

According to the press kit, the transportation department maintained to wholly support the campaign of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte against graft and corruption; and that it shall not hesitate to exercise its full power and authority to rid its ranks of errant officials and employees.

The preventive suspension order, issued on Wednesday (April 3), will last for a period of 90 days. – Maris Federez

DOTr: No fare hike amid system rehab of MRT Line 3

Marje Pelayo   •   August 15, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) maintains that minimum fare in MRT Line 3 will remain despite the ongoing rehabilitation works on the train system.

According to Transport Undersecretary Timothy John Batan, unless commuters experience full convenience and observe significant improvements in the MRT Line 3 system, there is no reason for any fare increase.

Meanwhile, the Department is expected to achieve its target train speed of 60 km. and the completion of its rehabilitation efforts including the replacement of new rail tracks and the addition of new train coaches by the year 2021.

Once completed, the MRT Line 3’s full operation is expected to accommodate up to 600,000 passengers every day. – MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

DOTr targets partial operation of MRT-7 in 2021

Marje Pelayo   •   July 17, 2019

Proposed MRT 7 train

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is targeting the partial operation of MRT-7 in 2021.

DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said the project will definitely ease the burden of commuters as travel time from Quezon City to San Jose del Monte in Bulacan will reduce significantly from four hours to about 35 minutes once the project is completed.

On Wednesday (July 17), Batan and DOTr officials inspected MRT-7’s construction site in Quezon City to check the work in progress.

According to the project’s contractor San Miguel Corporation, the ongoing construction is already 44% complete which includes the train stations, platforms and the line where the railings will be placed.

The DOTr also announced that the procurement of 36 new train sets from South Korea has already been done.

MRT-7 is a 23-kilometer railway system that connects North Avenue in Quezon City to the province of Bulacan.

The train system traverses 14 stations namely North Avenue, Quezon City Memorial Circle, University Avenue, Tandang Sora, Don Antonio, Batasan, Manggahan, Doña Carmen, Regalado, Mindanao Avenue, Quirino, Sacred Heart, Tala and San Jose Del Monte.

It can load up to 500,000 passengers daily.

To prevent similar glitches as those in MRT Line 3, the DOTr is in close coordination with the agency’s private partners in terms of the regular maintenance of the MRT-7.

Usec. Batan said the completion of the entire project is expected in 2022. – with details from Joan Nano

MMDA awaits SC decision on fate of provincial bus ban

Maris Federez   •   May 31, 2019

File photo: MMDA personnel accost provincial buses traversing Edsa. (Photo courtesy of MMDA)

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced on Wednesday that it leaves the fate of the proposed provincial bus ban up to the Supreme Court (SC).

MMDA traffic chief Bong Nebrija said in an interview that “it will depend on the order of the Court if they will tell us to scrap the policy or to hold its implementation.”

He added that they are just waiting for the court order.

Nebrija made the statement after several lawmakers filed separate petitions before the SC to stop the implementation of MMDA Regulation No. 19-002.

The order seeks to ban all provincial buses from plying along Edsa, which one of the petitioners, Albay Representative Joey Salceda, believes as “oppressive and unfair.”

Read: Salceda urges SC to halt provincial bus ban on EDSA

Nebrija further said that while there is still no court order, the MMDA will still push through with its preparations and their plans for the bus terminal closure, which the agency targets to implement in June.

“We’ll wait kung go or no go but we are still preparing, we’re still pushing with the plan. In the absence of a court order, we will push through with it,” he added.

The MMDA official believes that the impending implementation of the provincial bus ban on Edsa remains as one of the best alternatives to decongest Metro Manila roads.

Read: MMDA: Edsa bus ban one of the best options in decongesting Metro Manila

Nebrija, however, said that they still haven’t come up with a timeline from preparations to implementation as they are still yet to receive the policy guidelines from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

The MMDA had implemented a dry run of the bus ban in April but suspended it in less than a month.

Read: Provincial bus ban dry run suspended—MMDA

/mbmf

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