DOTr reduces physical distancing markers in public transport

Maris Federez   •   September 14, 2020   •   625

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation has allowed the public transport system in the country to implement a “reduced physical distancing” policy starting Monday, September 14.

From the previous one-meter physical distancing marker between passengers, it is now at .75-meter safe distance.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has approved the reduced physical distancing to provide service to the increasing number of passengers brought about by the reopening of more businesses.

“Ang basehan nila dito sa mga numero na binigay nila ay yung mga pag-aaral na ginawa nila sa sarili at pati narin pag-aaral na ginawa ng medical experts natin. Nakita namin na pwede naman talagang liitan yung pagitan ng mga pasahero basta nandun pa rin ang health protocols,” said DOTr Usec. Artemio Tuazon.

Effective Monday, the LRT-1 will accommodate 204 passengers from the previous 155; while the LRT-2 will accept 212 passengers from the previous 160-capacity.

The MRT-3, in the meantime, said that from 153 passengers, it will now accommodate 204 passengers per trip.

The Philippine National Railways, on the other hand, said it will increase the passenger capacity of their trains to 184 from the previous 166.

The DOTr also announced that standing will now be allowed inside modern jeepneys and passenger buses, increasing their capacity by up to three additional passengers. This increased passenger capacity is also applied in traditional jeepneys and UV express units.

Passenger ships are also allowed to increase their capacity to up to 75 percent from the earlier 50%.

Airline companies, in the meantime, will not be changing their policies on physical distancing as they are using heap filters in the aircraft ventilations ensuring a lower chance of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmission.

“Sa loob naman ng eroplano dahil sa kanyang filter system halos kapareho, kalebel sya ng operation ng humidifier where every 3 minutes nagpapalit sya ng air condition at very little or hardly were it says na merong nagkaroon ng transmission sa loob ng eroplano,” said CAAP Director-General Capt. Jim Syndiongco.

In the next two weeks, the DOTr will once again reduce the physical distancing to .50 meters, and subsequently, will further reduced to .30 meters.

The department, however, ensured that with the implementation of the reduced physical distancing protocol, the minimum health standards will still prevail.

On the other hand, in the event that COVID-19 cases will once again increase, the physical distancing in the public transport system will be reverted one meter. —(with details from Joan Nano) /mbmf

DOTr eyes ‘Libreng Sakay’ program in Cavite

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is eyeing to launch its ‘Libreng Sakay’ program in Cavite.

During the inauguration of the new district office of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Imus City on Wednesday (May 12), DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the department is looking into launching free transportation to essential workers, frontliners and authorized persons outside residence (APORs).

He further assured continuous construction works on vital infrastructure projects in Cavite, including the much-anticipated LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project.

“Ipagtutulakan ko na matapos ang mga istraktura at istasyon ng partial operability section ng LRT-1 Cavite Extension bago matapos ang termino ng Pangulo,” Secretary Tugade said.

(I will make sure that the LRT-1 Cavite Extension will be on partial operability before the term of the President [Duterte] ends.)

Meanwhile, The DOTr continues to upgrade and build new LTO offices nationwide to provide better service to the public.

Since 2016, the department has added 132 LTO extension offices, district offices, licensing centers, and driver’s license renewal offices, including the new office in Imus, Cavite.

 

2 MRT passengers face charges for going down train tracks to take a selfie

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Two passengers of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) are facing charges for going down the train rails to take a selfie.

In a statement, the MRT-3 management said the two passengers were caught in a CCTV footage on May 9.  Jerald Oliva, 22, went down the train rails while Rey Llasos, 28, took a selfie.

MRT-3 guards immediately responded. The two individuals are facing charges for violating Revised Penal Code of the Philippines Article 155 or Alarms and Scandals. They were taken to the Quezon City Police District –Kamuning Police Station (PS-10) for inquest procedure.

MRT-3 OIC-General Manager ASec. Eymard Eje said it is dangerous for passengers especially if there is a train about to arrive.

“Tumtakbo ang tren natin ngayon ng 60 kilometers per hour, tapos biglang mayroong tao doon sa riles, hindi ba biglang mag-e-emergency break ang ating mga tren. Siguradong may masasaktan doon sa tatlong daang mahigit na pasahero kapag biglang nag-preno,” he said.

(If the train runs at 60 kilometers per hour and there was an individual on the tracks, it would immediately pull the emergency break. Of course, passengers inside the train will be injured.)

The MRT-3 management reminded the public that only authorized individuals are allowed to go down the train tracks. It also urged patrons to immediately report to authorities fellow passengers who are violating MRT-3 rules. AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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DOTr calls on PUV operators to help displaced conductors

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade has called on public utility vehicle (PUV) operators to help their personnel.

The agency has received reports and photos of displaced PUV conductors asking the government for jobs and assistance.

Tugade reiterated his directive to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to find ways of helping  displaced PUV personnel heavily affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Doon sa matutulungan at mabibigyan ng hanap-buhay, bigyan natin sila ng hanap-buhay. Makiisa at makipag-ugnayan kayo sa ating mga kasamahan na kung kwalipikado naman at physically fit na magtrabaho sa lansanagan bilang isang draybe o konduktor, bigyan natin sila ng pagkakataon,”  he said.

He reiterated that the department has various programs including Service Contracting, Tsuper Iskolar under Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). These programs can can assist drivers and conductors in securing jobs and gaining more knowledge for better opportunities.

Tugade also pushed for a massive information dissemination to bring awareness to various DOTr programs. AAC

 

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