HOR suspends DOTr’s truck phase-out order

Marje Pelayo   •   December 10, 2018   •   3698

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The House of Representatives (HOR) on Monday (December 10) suspended the implementation of an order issued by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) phasing out trucks 15 years old and above.

According to House Committee on Metro Manila Development, the suspension was due to lack of comprehensive study on its implementation by the agencies enforcing the order.

“(Were) there studies made prior to issuance of this department order, studies that reflect that after 15 years, certain vehicles in the country resulted in accidents breakdowns of trucks?’ asked COOP-NATCO Party list Rep. Anthony Bravo.

“On my personal knowledge po wala po. Hindi ko po alam sa DOTR. Ang alam ko po nag trigger nito yung mga dumadaming aksidete ng units,” replied Board Member Ronaldo Corpuz of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

Corpuz argued that vehicles 15 years old and above are already prone to accidents since the metals could be worn out already due to age.

“Ikino-consider din po diyan ang metal fatigue. Kahit po sabihin natin na kunwari ang isang unit ay nagpa-ganda pero iyong kalamnan niya ay medyo marupok na rin,” Corpuz argued.

But the House panel and a group of truckers are not convinced by LTFRB’s argument.

“Ang naaaksidenteng nakikita natin nakakatulog lang yung drivers,” said Senior Citizens Party list Rep. Francisco Datol.

“Ang problema po ang disiplina ng mga driver natin. Kung minsan kung makipagbalagbagan sa kalsada kala mo sidecar ang dala,” added Rep. Michael Lopez of Manila.

For the Alliance of Philippine Brokers and Truckers, the standard of the vehicle is not measured by its age.

“There could very well be trucks that are 5 years old and yet not be road worthy…it appears that the standard being used is not reasonable,” argued Atty. Ferdinand Mañebo, the group’s legal counsel.

The House committee suggested that the DOTr should work more on purchasing new motor vehicle inspection service units to make sure that all vehicles are properly checked before travelling.

“Two years ago we [Congress] allocated funds for the purchase of MVIS.  However, because of the bureaucratic delay of your office, hindi po nare-realize ang beauty ng implementation ng MVIS,” explained Committee Chair Rep. Winnie Castelo.

Castelo has ordered the committee secretary to notify the DOTr of the suspension of the order on truck phase out. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Grace Casin)

Cha-Cha sees no progress in Senate

Marje Pelayo   •   December 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Several senators seem adamant on catering to the House of Representatives’ (HOR) proposed Charter change.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said such a proposal is not a priority at this time adding that the Senate is not considering accepting it after the HOR approved its version of the bill.

The Lower House proposes the following amendments to the Constitution:

1. Legislative flexibility for foreign Investments

2. Tandem voting for president and vice president

3. Election of senators by region (with proposal dividing PH to 9 regions)

4. 5-year term for local officials and Congressmen

House Committee on Constitutional Amendments Chairman Rufus Rodriguez is asking the senators to take time to study their proposal before deciding to drop it.

“I hope that the senators, instead of saying, it’s doomed, it’s not a priority, should look into every proposal: are they good for the country or not? That is the main issue there,” Rodriguez argued.

The lawmaker also denied allegations that the bill is “self-serving” on the part of the congressmen and that they have personal interests in pushing the proposed amendments.

“If this is approved it will only apply to those elected in 2022. All of us will go to the elections of 2022,” Rodriguez said.

“We are not extending our terms,” he added.

The Surigao Del Sur Representative stressed that the bill underwent public consultation from various sectors across the country.

The Lower House lawmakers are expected to debate on the measure at the plenary come February next year which may run for two months, according to Rodriguez. – MNP (with details from Vincent Arboleda)

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.

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