IATF approves implementation of service contracting of PUVs

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 15, 2020   •   183

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) approved the implementation of service contracting of public utility vehicles (PUVs).

Proposed by the Economic Development Cluster (EDC) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the service contracting scheme for public transport aims to subsidize public transport operations, incentivize PUV operators to return and serve commuters, and restore the livelihood of displaced transport workers, among others.

“The proposed stimulus bill has allocated budget to carry out a more financially-viable contracting scheme that will better benefit operators of public transportation units, the commuting public, and the overall public transport sector,” the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said.

IATF GIVES GO SIGNAL TO EDC, DOTr-BACKED SERVICE CONTRACTING SCHEME FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORTIn a bid to further contain…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Sunday, September 13, 2020

The measure will soon be implemented with the signing of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or the “Bayanihan 2” bill into law.

DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Steve Pastor said the measure will not only help operators and drivers with their livelihood but it can also help in limiting the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“We are pushing for the use of service contracting as these would allow for efficiency of travel and the reduction of transmission,” he said. AAC

Philippines to allow entry to foreigners with investor visas starting Nov. 1

Robie de Guzman   •   October 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign nationals with investors visa will soon be allowed to enter the Philippines, Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) on Thursday allowed the entry of foreigners starting November 1.

“These foreign nationals include those with visas issued by the Bureau of Immigration pursuant to Executive Order No. 226, or the Omnibus Investments Code, as amended, and Republic Act. No. 8756; those with 47(a)(2) visas issued by the Department of Justice; and those visas issued by the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority,” Roque said in a statement.

The Palace official, however, stressed that the entry of these foreigners to the country is subject to conditions.

“(T)hey must have valid and existing visa at the time of the entry and must likewise have a pre-booked accredited quarantine facility,” Roque said.

“In addition, they must be subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry and must follow applicable immigration laws, rules and regulations,” he added.

The government earlier said it will be easing travel restrictions to help the country’s economy recover from the impact of the pandemic.

The Philippines imposed travel restrictions in February to curb the spread of novel coronavirus disease.

IATF OKs face-to-face skills training for OFWs in some areas

Robie de Guzman   •   October 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The government’s task force on COVID-19 pandemic response has allowed, in some areas, the in-person technical skills training and assessments for outbound overseas Filipino workers (OFW), Malacañang said Friday.

Citing Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution 78, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said face-to-face training and assessments by Technical Vocational Institutions and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for outbound OFWs will now be permitted in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ.

Roque, however, noted that this will still be subject to compliance with TESDA guidelines and minimum public health standards.

“This forms part of our assistance to workers who already have employment opportunities. These include trainings and assessments for domestic work, caregiver, housekeeping qualifications and ship’s catering,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, dive establishment in specific areas under GCQ and modified GCQ such as Batangas and other areas identified by the Department of Tourism (DOT) “may accept recreational divers as guests, who are from areas under GCQ and lower.”

Roque said the DOT shall issue necessary guidelines in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Philippine National Police, local government units.

The Palace official further stated that the IATF has directed its sub-technical working groups on data analytics and anticipatory and forward planning to “formulate unified recommendations concerning guidelines applicable to areas that may eventually be placed under the new normal.”

Roque said this is aligned to the proposed National Action Plan Phase III of the National Task Force Against COVID-19.

“The meeting will be composed of health expert panels from the Department of Health Technical Advisory Group, the Health Care Professionals’ Alliance Against COVID-19 as well as economic experts to balance health and economy,” he added. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

125,000 Beep cards to be given away free to EDSA Busway commuters

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 6, 2020

AF Payments Inc. (AFPI), the operator of Beep card, will be giving away 125,000 free cards to EDSA Busway commuters who cannot afford one.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr), in a statement, lauded AFPI for its decision to give commuters free Beep cards until a QR-based electronic ticketing system becomes operational.

“We thank AFPI for seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and for considering the plight of our commuters who have just started to rebuild back their lives after a series of strict quarantine measures that put pressure both on their social lives and livelihoods. For them, every centavo counts,” the statement read.

The decision comes after the suspension of the ‘No Beep Card, No Entry’ policy which was first implemented last October 1.

Meanwhile, the Transportation Department said they are also reviewing the possible implementation of the QR code-based electronic ticketing system on the EDSA Busway.

“With the use of a smartphone app and/or through online, passengers of vessels can now buy virtual tickets. As this is a contactless technology, commuters are best assured of proper social distancing needed to prevent transmission of the coronavirus,” the DOTr said. AAC

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