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Duterte fires DOTr Asec Tolentino

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, May 21st, 2018


Transportation Assistant Secretary for Railways Mark Tolentino (photo from his Facebook page)

 

MANILA, Philippines – Transportation Assistant Secretary for Railways Mark Tolentino was the latest to receive President Rodrigo Duterte’s “corruption ax.”

The President dismissed Tolentino for allegedly consulting his sister particularly in matters relating to the Mindanao Railway Project (MRP.)

Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque in a press briefing Monday, May 19, reiterated the President’s stern warning not to get his family members involved in any government transactions.

“Wag niyo pong kakausapin ang sinuman sa mga kamag-anak niya, na mayroon pong kahit anong gustong kontrata or appointment sa gobyerno. Pag kinausap ninyo po ang kahit sinong kamag-anak ng president, basehan na po yan para kayo sibakin,” Roque said.

(Do not discuss contracts or government posts with any of the President’s family members. If you talk to any of his relatives for such purposes, it can be used as a ground for your relief.)

In his statements during the weekend, the Chief Executive hinted at firing more public officials with links to corruption including the government corporate counsel and some gaming officials.

Meanwhile, The Department of Transportation (DOTr) in a statement Monday said the agency welcomed the President’s decision to fire Tolentino while it assured the public that the MRP was “on track and on schedule.”

Roque said he will announce on Tuesday, May 22, the name of another official whom the President asked to resign. — Rosalie Coz

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DOTr targets partial operation of MRT-7 in 2021

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

Proposed MRT 7 train

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is targeting the partial operation of MRT-7 in 2021.

DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said the project will definitely ease the burden of commuters as travel time from Quezon City to San Jose del Monte in Bulacan will reduce significantly from four hours to about 35 minutes once the project is completed.

On Wednesday (July 17), Batan and DOTr officials inspected MRT-7’s construction site in Quezon City to check the work in progress.

According to the project’s contractor San Miguel Corporation, the ongoing construction is already 44% complete which includes the train stations, platforms and the line where the railings will be placed.

The DOTr also announced that the procurement of 36 new train sets from South Korea has already been done.

MRT-7 is a 23-kilometer railway system that connects North Avenue in Quezon City to the province of Bulacan.

The train system traverses 14 stations namely North Avenue, Quezon City Memorial Circle, University Avenue, Tandang Sora, Don Antonio, Batasan, Manggahan, Doña Carmen, Regalado, Mindanao Avenue, Quirino, Sacred Heart, Tala and San Jose Del Monte.

It can load up to 500,000 passengers daily.

To prevent similar glitches as those in MRT Line 3, the DOTr is in close coordination with the agency’s private partners in terms of the regular maintenance of the MRT-7.

Usec. Batan said the completion of the entire project is expected in 2022. – with details from Joan Nano

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Phivolcs raises earthquake magnitude to 6.1

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Monday, April 22nd, 2019

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has raised the earthquake magnitude to 6.1. This was after a strong earthquake rocked several areas in Luzon on Monday (April 22).

In its updated bulletin, Phivolcs reported a 6.1 magnitude earthquake with a 12-kilometer depth. Its epicenter is located in Castillejos, Zambales.

Other reported intensities include:

Intensity V -San Felipe, Zambales; Malolos and Obando, Bulacan; Quezon City; Lipa, Batangas; 
Manila City; Abucay, Bataan; Valenzuela City; Magalang, Pampanga

Intensity IV – Pasig City; Makati City; Caloocan City; Meycauayan and San Jose Del Monte, 
Bulacan; Floridablanca, Pampanga; Villasis, Pangasinan; Tagaytay City; Villasis, Pangasinan; 
Baguio City; Marikina City; Las Pinas City

Intensity III – Dasmarinas, Indang and Gen. Trias, Cavite; Lucban, Quezon; Muntinlupa City, 
Cabanatuan City; Palayan City; Gapan City; Santo Domingo and Talavera, Nueva Ecija

Intensity II – Baler, Aurora

Instrumental Intensities:

Intensity V – Angeles City; Malolos, Bulacan;

Intensity IV – Quezon City; San Juan City; Pasig City; Muntinlupa City; Gapan City; Cabanatuan 
City; Tagaytay City; San Ildefonso, Bulacan

Intensity III – Mauban, Quezon; Talisay, Batangas; Guagua, Pampanga; Olongapo City

Intensity II – Lucena City; Dolores and Lucban, Quezon; Dagupan City; Daet, Camarines Norte

Intensity I – Guinayangan, Quezon; Calatagan, Batangas; Magalang, Pampanga; Sinait, Ilocos Sur.

Phivolcs also reported possible aftershocks.

Meanwhile, LRT-1, LRT-2, and MRT-3 suspended their operations due to the recent earthquake.

-Aillen Cerrudo

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LRT-2 extension to Antipolo enters final phase

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

LRT-2 East Extension Project is set to connect eastern side with greater part of Metro Manila. The project is expected to be completed by 2020. (Courtesy of Department of Transportation Facebook Page)

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) held the ceremonial track laying and installation of electro-mechanical system (EMS) at the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) Emerald Station in Marikina City on Tuesday (April 16).

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda led the ceremony.

The track works and integration of the EMS into the existing system signal that the project has entered the final phase.

Once completed, Tugade said, it will significantly reduce travel time from Recto in Manila to Masinag in Antipolo, Rizal to just 40 minutes from three hours via bus or jeepney.

“Imagine a situation where you will travel from Claro M. Recto to Masinag, to Emerald, that will take easily three hours. With the construction of the two stations to be finalized by the fourth quarter of 2020, that travel time will be reduced to a maximum of 40 minutes,” he said.

Transportation Secretary Arturo Tugade (5th from right) and Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda (6th from right) led the ceremonial track laying and installation of electromechanical systems (EMS) of the LRT Line 2 East Extension Project on Tuesday, 16 April 2019. (Courtesy of Department of Transportation Facebook Page)

The installation of EMS will be followed by the creation of the signaling system, overhead catenary system, telecommunications system, and the power supply and distribution system, which will be used to operate trains daily.

The four-kilometer LRT-2 extension will feature two stations – the Emerald station, along Marcos highway and adjoining Gil Fernando and Felix Avenues, and the Masinag station, near Sumulong highway in Antipolo City, Rizal.

According to the Light Rail Transit Authority, the construction of viaducts and two stations are now nearing completion.

The DOTr said that overall, the project is already 60 percent complete and is expected to be finished in the fourth quarter of 2020. – Robie de Guzman

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