Gov’t agencies inspect Araneta Bus Terminal prior to Thursday’s influx of passengers

Maris Federez   •   October 30, 2019   •   731

Several government agencies conducted rounds and random checks at the Araneta Bus terminal in Quezon City on Wednesday (October 30).

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) started early at 5 in the morning with its spokesperson, Celine Pialago, leading the breath analyzer testing on provincial bus drivers to ensure that they are not under the influence of alcohol.

The randomly selected 13 drivers were tested negative of alcohol test based on the breath analyzer equipment used.

“Well, ‘pag nag-positive po y’ong driver sa alhocol content, iho-hold po siya ng Araneta Center at kailangan po siyang papahingahin at papapalitan po ng driver para po tuluyang makabyahe y’ong unit po ng nasabing bus,” Pialago said.

The Land Transportation Officer (LTO), on the other hand, inspected the lights and the condition of the tires and brakes of passenger buses.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), meanwhile, checked the roadworthiness of the bus units.

LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III said passenger buses must have security and dash cameras installed on their units: otherwise, the operators shall be meted out with P5,000 fine.

They also urge passengers to immediately call out the drivers when they notice or encounter problems while on their trip.

“I have reminded them na kung mag-o-overspeeding y’ong driver o kaya hindi maayos y’ong pagda-drive, sabi ko sa mga pasahero, sila na mismo ang sisita sa driver. Sila na mismo kasi they are there on the road in the bus while they are traveling,” the LTFRB chief said.

The Movie and Television Review and Regulatory Board (MTRCB) also conducted an inspection of the kind of movies being shown inside the buses.

MTRCB chairperson Maria Rachel Arenas said that only films or programs with PG rating or are suitable for children must be played inside the bus.

Personnel of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT), and the Quezon City Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS) are doing rounds in the centers of public conveyance.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is also on 24-hour standby starting on Tuesday (October 29) until Monday (November 4).

As more people are expected to travel on Thursday (October 31), bus terminal authorities warn the public against bringing prohibited materials such as bladed weapons, flammable items, and alcoholic drinks. (from the report of Asher Cadapan, Jr.) /mbmf

LTO extends validity of registration of vehicles with plate numbers ending in 6,7,8

Marje Pelayo   •   August 4, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Office (LTO) is extending the validity of registration of motor vehicles with plate numbers ending in 6, 7 and 8 until September 30.

The advisory is in line with the implementation of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in the National Capital Region and nearby areas in Region 4A.

The measure aims to avoid congestion at all LTO offices and to consistently observe social distancing during the community quarantine.

Likewise, this will ensure orderly processing of transactions without compromising the health of both the agency’s personnel and clients.

The agency assures that the validity extension will not incur any penalty or surcharge for concerned vehicle owners . 

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MMDA denies reports on Metro Manila reverting to MECQ

Marje Pelayo   •   July 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Danny Lim has denied reports that local chief executives in the National Capital Region (NCR) have suggested to revert Metro Manila to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status.

In an interview, Lim denounced the reports as fake news saying that the Metro Manila Council of Mayors actually suggested extending the general community quarantine in NCR starting August 1. 

President Rodrigo Duterte, meanwhile, is expected to announce the new quarantine measures on July 31 that will be implemented across the country. –MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

Modernization plan seen to boost performance of BFP

Maris Federez   •   July 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) on Tuesday, July 28, said it is looking forward to the planned modernization of the agency as mentioned by President Rodrigo Duterte in his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.

In a phone interview, BFP Director Jose Embang, Jr admitted that the agency is now being left behind as compared with the other fire departments in other countries.

Embang said that what they need to be on par with other countries in meeting and maintaining international standards is additional personnel, as well as equipment, training, and salary increase.

He said what the President mentioned in his SONA will be a great help to the agency.

“Ngayon lang nagkaroon, nabanggit ng isang Pangulo na dalawang beses ang modernization ng Bureau of Fire since last year, nabanggit n’ya na ‘yan, tapos ngayong nabanggit na naman n’ya. Given by the fact siguro na s’ya ay naging mayor sa Davao ng ilang dekada at nakita n’ya ang importance ng isang fire department sa isang bayan,” Embang said.

He added that the agency has only around 29,000 personnel nationwide and what they need is double that number.

He said that to be able to recruit the additional 30,000 personnel, they have to offer a more competitive salary.

He explained that more than being firefighters, the BFP is also among the first to respond to rescue operations during disasters and emergencies.

“Ini-ensure n’ya na ang lahat ng tao na nakatira sa mga establishment ay safe from destructive fires, isa lang ‘yun, prevention,” he said.

The BFP is also a support group to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police in national emergencies and in fighting terrorism.

“Sini-secure n’ya ‘yung mga taong affected ng isang emergency bago ‘yung investigation, bago dumating ‘yung iba-ibang mga unit,” Embang said.

To perform these things, Embang said, the BFP would need equipment such as additional fire trucks, ladders, platforms, ambulances, rescue trucks, and hazardous materials trucks.

“Importanteng-importante po ‘yang hazardous materials truck, kasi ‘yan po ‘yung nagre responde sa mga chemical spill, sa mga bio kagaya ng COVID, sa mga radiological incident, ‘yan po ‘yung hazardous materials na tinatawag,” the BFP official further explained.

The agency is also planning to procure choppers to be used in transporting victims from high-rise buildings or forest fires, as well as rescue boats, and drones. — (from the report of Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

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