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DOTr plans return 48 Dalian trains to China

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has sent letters to four international certifiers to examine the construction of 48 new train coaches for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) bought by the Philippines from China.

DOTr Undersecretary for Rails, Cesar Chavez said the international third party will examine the 48 Dalian trains to determine its safety for passenger use.

The process will take three months. Once the international third party finds the coaches not compatible to the signaling system of the current trains used in the MRT, the DOTr will opt to return the coaches to China.

“If they say these are not operationally reliable, we will return it to China without spending any amount. Our option is to return these to China and have them fix it,” Chavez said.

Aside from the signaling system, there are also problems on the wheels of the new trains as these are bigger than the size of the rails of MRT.

The 48 Dalian trains are worth P3.8-billion.

The Philippines has already paid an amount of P800-million to the Chinese government.

The DOTr said the Philippine government will not ask for a refund of the amount, but instead it will ask the Chinese to repair the trains so it could still be used in the MRT.

The trains arrived in the Philippines in 2015.

However, after 2 years, the trains remain unusable for the millions of passengers of MRT.

On Wednesday, MRT operations encountered glitches six times, injuring two passengers when the train suddenly stopped.

In the Senate hearing on the proposed 2018 budget of the DOTr, Senator Grace Poe said officials involved in the purchase of the trains should be held liable in court.

The DOTr plans to return the Dalian trains to China before the end of the year. – Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue

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Probe ordered on LRT-2 train crash

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, May 20th, 2019

Damage from the LRT-2 collision | Photo by Ahya Lopez

MANILA, Philippines – The management of the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) has ordered the creation of a fact-finding committee that will investigate the train crash incident on Saturday (May 18).

More than 30 people were injured on Saturday evening after a train parked on the “pocket track” near Anonas Station moved on its own and headed toward the main railways eastbound to Cubao.

The train’s control center noticed the movement of the parked train and immediately notified the approaching train but it was too late for the latter to make a full stop.

Damage from the LRT-2 collision | Courtesy : LRT2 Facebook page

“For unknown reason, which is still the subject of further investigation through a fact-finding which is being instructed by the administrator, gumalaw ang supposedly na sira na tren,” said DOTr’s Undersecretary for Finance Garry de Guzman.

Operations in LRT Line 2 was temporarily suspended for safety check.

It was mid afternoon the next day, Sunday (May 19) when the LRT-2 services resumed.

The LRTA management and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) assured the public that what happened was an isolated case while measures were being set up to prevent a repeat of the incident in the future.

“Kung mababawasan ang mga tumatakbong LRT (trains), natural may epekto iyan,” Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade noted.

(If running trains will be reduced, that surely has an effect.)

“Pero sa ganyang management, titingnan lahat iyan para nang sa ganoon, ang epekto sa operasyon ay hindi unnecessarily wide and deep,” he added.

(With that kind of management, everything will be assessed so that the effects on the operation will not be unnecessarily wide and deep.)

LRTA is expected to issue an official statement on the exact cause of the incident after its investigation. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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Eleven pulled alive from rubble in China building collapse

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2019

A team of rescuers are trying to find survivors under rubble after a building collapsed in Shanghai, China on May 16. | Photo grabbed from Reuters footage

Rescue services pulled out 11 people alive from a collapsed building in China’s financial hub of Shanghai on Thursday (May 16), and about same number are believed to be still trapped in the rubble.

The building in Shanghai’s Changning district was being renovated when it collapsed late in the morning, trapping some 20 people inside, fire services said in a statement.

Witnesses heard a big bang which lasted for five to six second and a cloud of dust that enveloped the building.

“The accident happened at 11 am and a big bang lasted five to six seconds. I immediately ran to the balcony and saw the entire factory was surrounded by dust. After the dust dispersed, I found the factory collapsed. As it was my first time to witness this, I was quiet shocked,” said Zhang Lei, who was working in an office next to the collapsed building

More than 150 rescuers are on the scene but they have not said how the building collapsed. (REUTERS)

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CAB: Cebu Pacific won’t be fined over flight cancellations

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) will not fine Cebu Pacific over its series of flight cancellations from April 28 to May 10, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Wednesday.

READ: Cebu Pacific cancels more flights until May 10

The DOTr explained that no fines will be imposed after CAB found that the concerns of passengers affected by the flight cancellations have been handled properly.

“Affected passengers’ concerns were found to be handled properly by Cebu Pacific in compliance with the Air Passenger Bill of Rights. Thus, the imposition of penalties was not considered at present,” the DOTr said in a statement.

Instead, the CAB directed Cebu Pacific to submit within 30 days a concrete plan stating measures it will take to prevent further inconvenience to passengers.

“We are hoping that Cebu Pacific will immediately comply with the order to resolve this issue. Hindi na natin maibabalik pa ‘yung dinulot na inconvenience these cancellations have caused. But moving forward, we aim to have more substantial actions so that our passengers will not have to suffer,” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said.

The air transport regulator also recommended that a stern warning be given to Cebu Pacific to exercise diligence necessary in maintaining stability and reliability of air transport service to the riding public.

The DOTr said that during its hearings held on May 2 and May 6, Cebu Pacific said that it was forced to cancel hundreds of its flights due to ongoing efforts to improve on-time performance (OTP) as its aircraft takes 49 to 66 minutes before being able to take off.

READ: CAB looks into Cebu Pacific flight cancellations

The flight cancellations will “create space” in their flight and crew inventory, “make way for operational recovery,” and “minimize rolling delays,” the Cebu Pacific noted.

CAB also found that the airliner had a “crewing problem,” as it concluded that “the additional time spent by the on-duty crew on the tarmac consumes the working hours and reserves that were supposed to be utilized at a much later schedule.”

While the CAB understands the cancellations as a recuperative measure for the airline, it pointed out that it cannot be made at the expense of the riding public.

“We want to remind airlines to consider the welfare of its passengers by avoiding short notice. The people have paid for these flights and have made their schedules accordingly,” CAB Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla said.

“While we understand the corrective measures being made to improve OTP, maximum effort should be done so that these measures are not at the expense of our passengers,” he added.

For the DOTr’s part, Secretary Tugade has directed the daily publication of airline OTP in major airports nationwide.

The DOTr noted Cebu Pacific’s OTP was pushed to an average of 51.16%, with lows of around 30% in March due to the hour-long stay on the tarmac. (with details from Joan Nano)

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