I-ACT launches Task Force Alamid to address traffic woes this holiday season

admin   •   October 20, 2017   •   6209

Task force ALAMID

MANILA, Philippines — The bumper to bumper traffic is a normal scene in Metro Manila everyday.

Adding to this is the sale events of malls that cause more congestion on roads due to vehicles parked along roads and erring drivers who ply the stretch of EDSA.

The government’s Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (IACT) wants to resolve all these problems.

On Thursday, I-ACT launched what it dubbed as Task Force Alamid.

Under this task force, 300 traffic law enforcers from the Metro Manila and Development Authority (MMDA) Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and the Philippine National Police (PNP) Highway Patrol will coordinate in managing and fixing the flow of vehicles this holiday season.

The Metro Manila local traffic enforcers, the joint task force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), leagues of barangays and several volunteers from the group Ligtas Patrol will also help in the said effort.

“Our scope is not just in Metro Manila, and but also in areas where MMDA is not allowed like airports and seaports,” said Department of Tranportation (DOTr) Road Transport Usec. Thomas Orbos.

“We can coordinate as well with the movement of the arrivals, the departing passengers, those queuing along NLEX, and SLEX. You might not be aware, the queuing of vehicles there is extreme even on regular days,” he added.

Task Force Alamid immediately began its work on Thursday along the coastal road in Baclaran.

During the operation, the task force apprehended nine “colorum” vans or PUVs without permits with routes from Cavite to Lawton.

“I know this is legal. I have a paper, but it’s just not here,” said a driver of a colorum van.

One of the apprehended vehicles even had a sticker of the Office of the President attached to it. When the driver was asked about the sticker, he refused to answer.

Authorities issued violation tickets to the erring drivers and towed their vehicles.

The apprehended drivers will pay fines of up to P200,000 and their vehicles will be impounded for three months.

It can be noted that a research by a Japanese organization in 2012 revealed that the country’s economy loses P2.4 billion daily due to heavy traffic. — Joan Nano| UNTV News & Rescue

International travel still restricted under GCQ, PH Immigration bureau says

Robie de Guzman   •   May 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Friday that international travel restrictions at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) will still be implemented despite the easing of community quarantine protocols in Metro Manila.

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said that international travel restrictions imposed under the enhanced community quarantine and modified enhanced community quarantine are still in place unless these are lifted or eased by the national government.

“As a consequence, our operations at the NAIA are still downscaled and our personnel there are still on skeletal and rotational deployment,” Morente said.

“Nonetheless, we assure the public that we are always ready to resume full, normal operations in our international airports once the government decides to ease or lift these travel restrictions,” he added.

Meanwhile, Immigration acting port operations chief Grifton Medina said that BI officers at the NAIA currently serve an average of only 20 to 30 flights a day, a third of which are special flights that ferry medical supplies and other kinds of cargo into the country.

As for the passenger flights, Medina said these are mostly repatriation flights that transport returning overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and chartered sweeper flights that bring foreigners stranded here back to their home countries.

Under existing guidelines approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force Against Infectious Diseases (IATF), only OFWs, Filipino citizens and their spouses and dependents, permanent residents, and foreign diplomats are allowed to enter the country.

All foreigners can leave anytime but Filipinos are not allowed to depart unless they are permanent residents or holders of student visa in their country of destination.

Metro Manila will be placed under GCQ beginning June 1 after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force to ease quarantine restrictions.

Under GCQ, limited operations of public transportation will be allowed to resume and more businesses are allowed to reopen.

Metro Manila may transition to GCQ after May 31 —Malacañang

Marje Pelayo   •   May 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 hopes to come up with a decision on whether to extend or lift the existing modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila and other areas in the country after May 31.

Malacañang sees a greater chance of transitioning from MECQ to general community quarantine (GCQ) come June 1 as recommended by National Task Force on COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.

“They gave their recommendation to the IATF but I can quote both of them, chances are we will in fact be transitioning to GCQ in Metro Manila according to the chief implementer and the DILG secretary,” noted Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque. 

The Metro Manila Council (MMC), likewise, recommended to the IATF to place the National Capital Region (NCR) to GCQ.

If that is so, public transport will be allowed but only on a limited capacity to ensure that minimum health standards are observed. 

Meanwhile, Roque appealed to both the public and private sectors to finalize their work schemes following the 50% operational capacity wherein half of the total number of employees will be working on site and half  will be working from home.

“We are appealing to both the private and public sector to ensure at least 50-50 workforce,” Roque said. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Walking for hours to reach work, home shouldn’t be part of ‘new normal’, Poe says

Robie de Guzman   •   May 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe on Wednesday called on the government to provide assistance to employees who are walking for kilometers from home to work and vice versa due to the still limited public transportation means amid the quarantine.

In a statement, Poe lamented reports on employees having to walk for hours to reach their workplaces and go home after the government eased the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) last May 16.

While the senator acknowledged the workers’ commitment and perseverance, she said this “must not be part of the ‘new normal’” amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

“There’s no doubt about the commitment and perseverance of our workers to return to work to provide income for their families and help shore up businesses sidelined by the pandemic,” she said.

“But the daily commute and walk must not exact a toll on our workers — exposing them to the dangers in the streets and unfavorable weather conditions,” she added.

Some workers reportedly struggled to reach their workplaces on Monday when businesses and offices resumed partial operations after Metro Manila was placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Poe said the government should do all it can to “alleviate the daily sufferings of our workers in getting to work” as public transportation services remain limited.

The senator also stressed that the “no work, no pay” employees will be most affected by this situation.

“Especially woeful are the situation of no-work, no-pay employees, who will not earn anything for the day if they fail to show up, or will be meted with deductions if they come late,” she said.

Under the MECQ guidelines issued by the government, select business establishments and offices have been allowed to resume half of their operations with limited workforce. Skeleton workforce and work from home arrangements may also be implemented.

The Department of Trade and Industry earlier urged employers who were allowed to resume operations to provide shuttle services to their employees.

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