DOTr plans return 48 Dalian trains to China

UNTV News   •   September 13, 2017   •   42827

 

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

DOTr assures no toll fee increase to be implemented amid pandemic

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Tuesday assured motorists that there will be no toll increase on expressways amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said that he understands the clamor of tollway operators for increases in toll rates to generate needed revenue for operating expenditures.

However, Tugade explained that the DOTr, through the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB), must uphold and protect the interest of the public, especially with the pandemic’s economic effects.

“Nakikita natin ang pangangailangan ng operators ng increases na iyan nang sa ganon, ang mga funding requirements nila ay maasikaso. Pero kailangan din ng tulong sa sambayanan, lalo’t higit tayo ay nasa pandemyang nangyayari ngayon,” He said.

“We need to strike a good balance. Ang pangangailangan ng mga investors, ang mga kakayanan ng publiko. Kailangan ibalanse iyan,” he added.

According to Secretary Tugade, considering the conditions imposed by the pandemic, the DOTr may approve toll rate hikes, but will definitely be implemented at a later date. AAC

 

Philippines gets another 3M doses of Sinovac vaccines

Marje Pelayo   •   September 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Another three million doses of CoronaVac from China arrived in the Philippines on Sunday (September 19) bringing the total number of COVID-19 vaccines delivered to the country to 62,359,810 since February.

NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. and Police Major Marvin Oloab witnessed the arrival of the vaccines at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) past 6:00 p.m. via a commercial Philippine Airlines flight.

Galvez said the newest vaccine shipment will be distributed to Regions 3, 4-A, 7, 11 and the National Capital Region (NCR).

Galvez admitted that the national government is facing challenges in vaccinating the senior citizens due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

“Talagang ayaw lumabas ng mga matatanda para magpabakuna dahil takot pa rin ngayon dahil tumaas ang kaso,” he said.

“Palagay ko, kapag bumaba na ang kaso natin later on [at] iyong mga nabakunahan na mga senior [ay] lumabas na, palagay ko, magkakaroon ng incentives for all our seniors to go out,” Galvez added.

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DOTr relaunches service contracting program for PUV drivers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines— The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday, September 10, relaunched the service contracting program (SCP).

The SCP aims to provide temporary livelihood to pandemic-displaced workers in the transportation industry as well as assist healthcare workers and Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APORs) with their daily commute to work through the “Libreng Sakay” program.

The initiative was approved under the Republic Act No. 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.

Under the program, public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and operators will receive performance-based incentives weekly— based on the number of trips made per week, whether they have a passenger or not.

Meanwhile, the government intends to implement service contracting as a regular program to provide sustainable livelihood to transport workers, with the end view of enhancing efficiency and quality of public transportation.

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