DOTr plans return 48 Dalian trains to China

UNTV News   •   September 13, 2017   •   38522

 

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

Duterte to insist arbitral ruling to China: ‘Whether you like it or not’

Marje Pelayo   •   August 22, 2019

(L-R) President Rodrigo Duterte, Pag-asa Island and Chinese President Xi Jinping

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte maintained that he will raise the arbitral ruling that favors the Philippines in the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea when he visits China next week.

Duterte is scheduled to fly to China for a working visit from August 28 to September 3.

He will meet Chinese president Xi Jinping and talk about the Hague ruling, the code of conduct, as well as the proposed joint oil exploration in the West Philippine Sea.

“So whether you like it or not, would it make you happy or not, angry or otherwise. Sorry, but we have to talk the arbitral ruling, then what we get, if there is a start of the exploration and extraction of whatever there is in the bowels of the earth,” the President said during the inauguration of the 7.5 megawatt peak solar power project in the municipality of Odiongan, Tablas Island in Romblon on Wednesday (August 21).

“The proposal of 60-40 in our favor, would be a good start. I hope it would graduate to something like towards how do we solve the arbitral ruling peacefully,” he added.

The event was the President’s first public engagement after being out of the public eye for more than a week. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte to decide on banning online gambling in PH amid China’s call – Palace

Marje Pelayo   •   August 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Wednesday (August 21) said it is up to President Rodrigo Duterte to decide on the operations of online gambling in the country.

“We have to ask the President on this policy or issue,” Panelo told reporters.

“Hindi natin alam kung may possibility or wala. We have to ask the President,” he added.

On Tuesday (August 20), Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang has called on the Philippine government to ban all forms of online gambling.

“We have also taken note of the Philippine government’s announcement and appreciate it,” he said in a press conference in Beijing.

“We hope the Philippines will go further and ban all online gambling,” he added.

Defense officials expressed concern over proximity of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) near military camps arguing the possibility of Chinese workers becoming spies for Beijing.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), meanwhile, has already stopped accepting applications for POGO licenses in the country unless underlying issues are settled.

But Panelo noted that online gambling remains legal under Philippine law.

China detains employee of British consulate in Hong Kong

Robie de Guzman   •   August 21, 2019

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang confirming detention of Chinese national working at Britain’s Hong Kong consulate, Simon Cheng | Courtesy: Reuters

A Chinese national working at Britain’s Hong Kong consulate has been detained in China’s border city of Shenzhen for violating the law, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Wednesday (August 21), likely worsening already strained ties between Beijing and London.

Simon Cheng did not return to work on Aug. 9 after visiting the neighbouring mainland city of Shenzhen the previous day, Hong Kong news website HK01 reported.

Cheng’s family confirmed his disappearance in a Facebook post on Tuesday (August 20) night, saying he travelled from Hong Kong to Shenzhen on the morning of Aug. 8 for a business trip.

Speaking at a daily news briefing in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Cheng had been detained for 15 days by Shenzhen police for violating public security management regulations, though he gave no details.

“He is not a UK citizen. In other words that means he’s Chinese, so it’s entirely an internal matter for China,” Geng said.

“We’ve made stern representations to Britain for the series of comments and actions they’ve made on Hong Kong,” he added.

Britain has said it is “extremely concerned” by reports that the staff member at the consulate in its former colony had been detained.

Hong Kong has been gripped by anti-government protests in recent weeks, with Beijing accusing Britain and other Western countries of meddling in its affairs. (Reuters)

(Production: Martin Pollard)

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