Graft charges filed vs. ex-DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, 30 others

UNTV News   •   October 23, 2017   •   5745

MANILA, Philippines – The lawyers of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) filed a graft complaint before the office of the Ombudsman against former Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and several other former officials of the said agency.

The complaint stemmed from the alleged anomalous contract they entered into for the maintenance of the Metro Rail Transit or MRT-3.

Among those included in the complaint are former DOTC Undersecretary for Operations Erwin Lopez, Undersecretary for Planning and Head Negotiating team Rene Limcauco, Undersecretary for Procurement and Administration Catherine Jennifer Gonzales, former Assistant Secretary for Bids and Awards Committee Camille Alcaraz, former MRT-3 General Manager Roman Buenafe, and several officials of the Busan Universal Rails Incorporated (BURI).

Based on the 29-page complaint, the DOTr questioned the alleged P3.81-billion contract the then DOTC entered into with BURI, when in fact, the company if should had negotiated with was the Busan Joint Venture.

DOTr Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Atty. Reiner Yebra explains it is a clear violation of the Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act since the two companies are different.

“The Busan Joint Venture participated in the public bidding and it was whom the contract was awarded to however now, as presently, instead of forming a joint venture required by law what they did was they formed a special purpose company called BURI, we felt that in itself is anomalous or something irregular,” Yerba said.

The DOTr officials want Abaya and his co-accused explain why they entered such a transaction.

In a text message, Abaya said he has yet to receive a copy of the complaint but argued the contract they entered with BURI is in accordance with the procurement law.

Meanwhile, former MRT General Manager Roman Buenafe and BURI refused to give their sides regarding the allegations stated in the said complaint. – Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue

‘No vax, no ride’ policy, sinimulan nang ipatupad sa MRT-3

Robie de Guzman   •   January 17, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Sinimulan nang ipatupad ngayong Lunes, Enero 17, ng Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) ang ‘no vaccination, no ride’ policy para sa mga pasahero nito.

Ang polisiya ay sang-ayon sa kautusang inilabas ng Department of Transportation (DOTr) na naglalayong protektahan ang kalusugan ng mga pasahero sa gitna ng lumulobong kaso ng COVID-19 sa bansa.

Una nang sinabi ng DOTr na ipinatutupad nito ang polisiya batay na rin sa pag-aaral na mas mapanganib ang COVID-19 para sa mga hindi pa bakunado laban sa nasabing sakit. Batay rin anila ito sa nilagdaang resolusyon ng Metro Manila Council na naglilimita sa paggalaw ng mga hindi pa bakunado.

Ayon kay MRT-3 Director for Operations Engineer Michael Capati, nasa 11 pasahero na ang hindi pinayagang makasakay sa mga tren matapos mabigong makapagpakita ng patunay na sila ay fully vaccinated na.

Sa ilalim ng polisiya, tanging mga pasaherong fully vaccinated o nakakumpleto ng primacy vaccine series ang maaaring makasakay ng tren, matapos makapagprisinta ng kanilang vaccination card at isang valid o government-issued ID sa security marshal sa istasyon.

Hindi kasama sa ‘no vaccination, no ride’ policy ang mga sumusunod:

  • may medical condition kung kaya’t hindi makapagpabakuna
  • mga pasaherong kukuha o maghahatid ng essential goods tula ng pagkain, gamot, tubjg, medical and dental necessities, public utilities, at iba pa
  • mga pasaherong nakai-schedule magpabakuna. Kinakailangang magpakita ng nararapat na dokumentasyon o patunay ng pasahero sa security marshal

Ang ‘no vaccination, no ride’ policy ay iiral habang nasa COVID-19 Alert Level 3 o mas mataas pa ang Metro Manila.

Samantala, nagpaalala naman ang DOTr sa mga pasahero nito na mahigpit pa ring ipinatutupad sa buong linya ng tren ang health and safety protocols, gaya ng pagbabawal kumain, uminom, makipag-usap sa telepono, at magsalita sa loob ng mga tren.

Mahigpit ding ipinatutupad ang pagsusuot ng face mask samantalang boluntaryo ang pagsusuot ng face shield.

Tuloy rin ang isinasagawang libre at boluntaryong COVID-19 antigen testing sa mga pasahero na magtatapos sa Enero 31.


DOTr to enforce ‘no vax, no ride’ policy in Metro Manila public transport

Robie de Guzman   •   January 12, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Wednesday announced it will be implementing a “no vaccination, no ride” policy for public utility vehicles operating in Metro Manila.

In a statement, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said he has issued a department order (DO) enforcing the “no vaccination, no ride” policy while a COVID-19 Alert Level 3 or higher is raised in Metro Manila as to be determined by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

“All concerned attached agencies and sectoral offices of DOTr are directed to ensure that operators of public transportation shall allow access or issue tickets only to ‘fully vaccinated persons’ as evidenced by a physical or digital copies of an LGU (local government unit)-issued vaccine card, or any IATF-prescribed document, with a valid government-issued ID with picture and address,” the DOTr department order read.

Tugade said the measure is in line with the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to restrict the movement of people who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect them amid the uptick in cases in the capital region.

Duterte earlier ordered community leaders to monitor persons who are not vaccinated in their respective areas and make sure they remain at their homes. He also warned unvaccinated people they will be arrested if they refuse to comply with the order.

The Metro Manila Council, which is composed of all the mayors of the National Capital Region, has passed a resolution urging the various local government units of Metro Manila to pass their respective ordinances on the enhanced restrictions on the movement of unvaccinated persons.

Tugade said the department order on public transport takes effect immediately after publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation, and the submission of a copy with the Office of the National Administrative Register, U.P. Law Center.

According to the DO, a person is considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving their second dose in a 2-dose vaccination series, such as with the Pfizer or Moderna brand of vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine such as with Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

Exempted from the “no vaccination, no ride” policy are the following:

  • Persons with medical conditions that prevent their full COVID-19 vaccination as shown by a duly-signed medical certificate with the name and contact details of their doctor.
  • Persons who will buy essential goods and services, such as but not limited to food, water, medicine, medical devices, public utilities, energy, work, and medical and dental necessities, as shown by a duly issued barangay health pass or other proof to justify the travel.

Under the Order, violations of the policy are considered violations of applicable general safety and health provisions under any concession or service agreements, authority or permits to operate public transportation, and other similar instruments.

MRT-3, magsasagawa ng random antigen testing sa mga pasahero simula Enero 11

Robie de Guzman   •   January 10, 2022

MANILA, Philippines ­­– Simula sa Martes, Enero 11, ay magsasagawa ang pamunuan ng Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) ng libreng random COVID-19 antigen testing sa mga pasahero ng tren.

Sa isang abiso, ang antigen testing sites ay bubuksan sa ilang istasyon gaya ng North Avenue, Cubao, Shaw Boulevard, at Taft Avenue.

Ayon sa pamunuan ng MRT-3, maaaring mag-accommodate ang bawat istasyon ng hanggang anim na pasahero sa kada peak period o 24 na pasahero sa loob ng isang araw.

Pero paglilinaw ng MRT-3, boluntaryo lamang ang gagawing antigen testing sa mga pasahero.

Papayagang sumakay ng tren ang mga pasaherong sasailalim sa random antigen testing basta’t negatibo ang resulta ng swab test.

Isasagawa ang random antigen testing mula Lunes hanggang Biyernes, mula ala-7 hanggang alas-9 ng umaga at alas-5 ng hapon hanggang alas-7 ng gabi.

Tatagal ang libreng antigen testing hanggang sa Enero 31.


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