DOTr starts operating P2P buses en route from Bulacan to QC

Marje Pelayo   •   July 30, 2018   •   4998

FILE PHOTO: A Point-to-Point (P2P) bus commissioned by the Department of Transportation

BULACAN, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has started the mobilization of point-to-point (P2P) buses en route Bulacan to Quezon City to ease commuter problems.

A total of thirty (30) P2P buses have started moving from Sta. Maria and Malolos terminals to North Avenue in Quezon City.

The buses are equipped with CCTV camera, free Wi-Fi service and air conditioning unit. They are also PWD-friendly as they are equipped with a platform to assist persons with disability (PWD) or wheelchair-bound passengers.

Ordinary buses charge P40 per passenger from Sta. Maria to North Avenue. P2P buses charge P70 per passenger and a discounted price of P56 for senior citizens. Though slightly expensive, passengers said they prefer the convenience they get from availing the P2P bus service.

“Napakaginhawa pagsakay namin ditto, pagbaba doon na sa pupuntahan. Ang kaibahan ay napakalamig, maluwag, hindi siksikan na gaya ng pagsakay namin sa ibang bus,” said passenger Lourdes del Rosario, a senior citizen.

LTFRB’s Atty. Aileen Lizada explained, “Ang end objective naman natin dito ay ang riding public. Ang computation nito per kilometer is four pesos pero makikita ninyo, worth it na ang pera ninyo. Mayroong Wi-Fi. You are very safe. Seats can recline. You are very comfortable on your ride.”

P2P buses en route Bulacan to North Avenue are available Mondays to Saturdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Operations from North Avenue to Malolos or Sta. Maria in Bulacan start at 7:00 a.m. t0 10:00 p.m. – Gerry Galicia / Marje Pelayo

DOTr clarifies: PUV Modernization will push through

Marje Pelayo   •   November 21, 2019

(L-R) DOTr Sec. Arthur P. Tugade and a fleet of modernized jeepney units

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) clarified that it is not holding off the implementation of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

In a statement released Wednesday (November 20), the agency rectified earlier reports that it has plans to defer the said program following the Senate deliberation on the Department’s P147-billion proposed budget for 2020.

Walang sinabi ang DOTr na hindi nito itutuloy ang pagpapatupad ng PUV Modernization Program, (The DOTr did not say that it is dropping the implementation of the PUV Modernization Program),” the DOTr said in a statement.

The agency explained that what transpired during the Senate deliberation was a condition in case operators of old PUV units fail to modermize their units come July 2020.

“Ang nabanggit ay kung sakali mang mabigo ang mga operator ng mga lumang jeepney na mag-modernize ng kanilang mga unit pagsapit ng Hulyo 2020, pansamantala ay pahihintulutan muna sila ng DOTr na makapamasada sa kondisyong papasa ang kanilang mga lumang unit sa roadworthiness test sa ilalim ng technology-based Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS), na walang human intervention,” the DOTr clarified.

(What was said was, in case operators of old jeepney units fail to modernize their units until July 2020, the DOTr will allow them to operate temporarily with their old units provided that their old units pass the road-worthiness test under the technology-based Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS), without any human intervention.)

If they pass the MVIS, the Department said, “the Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will grant them Provisional Authority (PA) valid for one year only, as they need to undergo road worthiness check via MVIS every year as well.”

To secure a PA, PUV operators need to submit a petition for consolidation on or before June 30, 2020 including a petition expressing their intention to join the PUVMP.

If they fail to submit on deadline, the “prior operator rule” will lapse and their franchise will be given to cooperatives who are PUVMP compliant.

“Oras na may PUVMP-compliant na kooperatiba o korporasyon na ang mabigyan ng prangkisa sa rutang tinatakbuhan ng lumang jeepney, automatic na makakansela na ang PA na ibinigay ditto,” the DOTr stressed.

(Once the franchise line is given to PUVMP-compliant cooperative or corporation, the PA granted to old units will be automatically cancelled.)

The DOTr remains firm that the PUVMP, a directive by President Rodrigo Duterte himself, is necessary to ensure the safety of commuters as the modernized jeepney units are equipped with safety features and designs in protection and convenience not just of the commuters but of the drivers as well.

Likewise, the program aims to curb pollution and to improve the income and livelihood of operators and drivers in the country.

DOTr orders intensified activation of help desks in transport hubs for “Undas”

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Tuesday ordered its attached agencies to intensify the activation of Malasakit Help Desks (MHD) at all transport hubs across the country for the Catholic community’s annual observance of Undas.

In a statement, the DOTr said this is in line with the initiative “Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Undas 2019” aimed at ensuring the safety of travelers bound for provinces in the upcoming Undas season.

The DOTr said the help desks will be activated from October 25 to November 4, 2019, when the influx of passengers going to and coming from provinces is expected to be high.

The help desks will serve as a one-stop-shop for passenger assistance in airports, seaports, train stations, and land terminals.

“It is imperative that all our MHDs are properly manned and equipped to address the varied concerns and requests for assistance by the public, Napakaraming Pilipinong bumibiyahe tuwing Undas, at ayokong nagkukulang tayo sa pag-aasiste sa kanila,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.

“Gawin nating maginhawa at maayos ang kanilang paglalakbay,” he added.

The DOTr said passengers may ask assistance from the help desks for transport-related inquiries and complaints, as well as medical emergency cases in transport hubs during Undas.

ASF scare vexes pork meat vendors, lechon makers in Bulacan

Marje Pelayo   •   September 18, 2019

BULACAN, Philippines – The pig virus African Swine Fever (ASF) has so far affected five barangays in the municipality of Guiguinto.

These are barangays Tiaong, Kut-Kot, Malis, Tabe and Pritil.

Hog raisers are already complaining over huge loss of income.

Even pork meat vendors and lechon makers in the province are also hurt by the ASF outbreak.

Based on records of the Municipal Veterinary Office, over a hundred pigs have already died in these areas since August 16.

Authorities suspect that the pigs delivered from Rizal may have been the source of the spread of ASF in Guiguinto.

“Dinadala dito. Doon sila humahango (The pigs are brought here from there [Rizal]) ,” said Guiguinto Municipal Veterinary Officer Eduardo Jose.

“Pagdating dyan naunang nagkaroon ng report sa Rodriguez. Nag-suspect ang provincial veterinary office na nadala dito sa Pritil, (The report first surfaced in Rodriguez. The provincial veterinary office suspected that the virus was brought here in Pritil)” Jose said.

Hog raisers are starting to complain over huge loss of income due to ASF outbreak.

“Dito po namin inilibing ang labinlimang baboy na namatay kahapon. Affected po ang Pritil, (This is where we buried 15 pigs that died yesterday. Pritil is also affected),” said hog raiser Sofia Verde.

Verde said she already lost more than 100 pigs including a sow.

Barangay Pritil for now does not accept delivery of pigs from Rizal and Batangas due to ASF outbreak.

Aside from pork meat vendors, lechon makers in Bulacan are also hurt by the outbreak as buyers of the Filipino pork delicacy have become fewer.

“Matumal talaga. Nasasabay pa yung balita na (African Swine Fever) sa baboy, (Sales have been slow, and news about African Swine Fever is making it worse),” noted lechon maker Minda Atim.

Some pork meat vendors whose products were certified by the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) said they were not exempted from the impact of ASF scare.

They blame the media for fueling the flames when it comes to ASF.

“Ang nangyari kasi malakas rin ang (impluwensiya) ng media, (The influence of media is strong),” said Lisa Apolinario, a pork meat vendor.

“Napapakita, napapanood na akala nila ganun na lahat ng paninda. Maayos ang paninda namin kasi may certificate naman kami (When people see it on TV they think all pork being sold in the market are affected. Our products are safe because we have certificates),” Apolinario argued.

Meanwhile, some consumers prefer to be safe by buying other sources of protein instead of pork meat.

 “Mga seafood na lang binibili namin and chicken, (We prefer to buy seafood and chicken),” said Paula Angeles.

“Mas maganda mag-ingat na lang po ngayon, (It’s better to be cautious,)” another consumer, Jane Art said.

“Kapag wala na siguro yung case ng swine (fever) saka na lang siguro magbaboy, (When the case of (African) Swine (Fever) is cleared, that’s the time we could buy pork again),” she concluded. – MNP (with reports from Nestor Torres)

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