Incoming transport secretary lays out programs early

admin   •   June 23, 2016   •   3273

IMAGE_JUNE-23-2016_UNTV-NEWS_DOTC_ARTHUR-TUGADE

Atty. Arthur Tugade will be assuming office as the next transportation secretary, and as early as today, he is starting to work on some improvements in the transportation sector.

He laid out some projects that the agency has to do and ones which need to be stopped or improved by the next administration.

One of these is transferring the bidding, printing and production of licenses from the Land Transportation Office to the National Printing Office.

Included in the plans are the extension of driver’s license expiration to 5 years and the manufacture of plates locally instead of abroad.

Tugade will also push for a system where newly purchased vehicles are required to acquire licensed plates first before owners can use them.

“I would not push for importation of plates. I also don’t favor bidding of licenses. The expiration of license and plates of three years, I prefer to make it 5 years if the law allows it,” Tugade said in a statement.

Tugade will uphold the phase-out of old public utility jeepneys.

“I don’t want any conflict but I will stand to what I know is right. I will stand for the phase-out policy.”

Tugade confirmed talks with Robert Sobrepena and Manuel V. Pangilinan as regard to the improvement and problems in the MRT.

He will also have someone act as his undersecretary who will oversee the rail transit system.

“What’s important here is knowledge and integrity. I believe if someone has the knowledge and the integrity, why wouldn’t I get him?”

Provincial bus terminals will be removed away from major roads and will be relocated to avoid inconvenience among the public.

He is also contemplating on the possibility of using cable cars, hybrid buses, bus rapid transits, trains to Clark and much improved airports and seaports.

Tugade believes that problems in transportation would be easily resolved if Congress would grant emergency powers to incoming President Rodrigo Duterte.

Tugade cannot promise that he could solve everything right away but he vows to exert all his efforts to settle the problems in the transport sector with the cooperation of each and every citizen to achieve common progress.

(MON JOCSON/UNTV NEWS)

DOTr orders LTO to hold implementation of mandatory PMVIC testing

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has ordered the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to hold the implementation of mandatory private motor vehicle inspection center (PMVIC) testing.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade ordered the suspension of the implementation of Memorandum Circular SC 2021-02, which is the creation of Geographic Areas of Responsibility (GAOR) issued on July 5, 2021. This is amid issues surrounding the said memorandum.

Tugade also directed the LTO to conduct an immediate and exhaustive review of the policy.

Senator Grace Poe on Monday (August 23) has expressed her disappointment over the reimplementation of mandatory PMVIC. She said that the testing is very costly which is a challenge for motorists especially amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“An official communication sent by Governor Villafuerte of Camarines Sur to the DOTr claimed that, on the ground, the usual emission test is still cheaper than the PMVIC test,” she said.

With this, Tugade directed the LTO to maintain the previous registration process where motorists can choose between a PMVIC and a private emission testing center (PETC) for the required vehicle inspection.

“Secretary Tugade recognizes the need for a smoother and more efficient manner of implementation of the GAOR policy, while also taking into consideration the current COVID-19 situation which hampers the required vehicle registration process,” according to the DOTr.

The DOTr was also able to convince PMVIC owners to lower their inspection rate from P1,500 to P600 for light vehicles, and P500 for motorcycles, which are similar to rates collected by a PETC. Reinspection or retest fees were likewise waived. -AAC

LTO refutes COA report of license plate backlogs from 2014 to 2020

Maris Federez   •   August 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Audit (COA) reported in its 2020 Annual Audit Report that more than eight million motorcycle plates dating back from 2014 to 2020 remained undistributed.

The report also said that from 2015 to 2020, 2.6 million motor vehicles still need replacements of their license plates.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO), however, said the agency has already taken measures to address the issue and has, in fact, reduced the backlog.

“I think nung ginawa yon, medyo audit ng much earlier dates yon eh. Kaya mayroon nang pagbabago doon. Kaya siguro yung 8 million na yon, na-reduce na. Para i-explain din namin kung ano na yung nai-comply namin out of that,” LTO Chief Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvantez said.

“But again, we honor the report of COA and we’ll attend to the issues that have been pointed out in that report,” he added.

Asec. Galvantez said one of the problems they encounter is the funding to be used for the production of replacement license plates based on the new measurement implemented in 2018.

The LTO has also released a statement on Friday afternoon to further clarify the issue.

It said that the contract in question was signed in 2014 between the then Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and PPI-JKG Philippines, Inc. (PPI-JKG) for the delivery of 5.2 million pairs of Motor Vehicle (MV) plates and 9.9 million pieces of motorcycle plates, to supply the LTO license plate requirements up to 2017.

The LTO said that out of the deliverables, over 4 million pairs of MV plates and more than 7.2 million pieces of MC plates were undelivered.

In 2015, LTO’s payment to the PPI-JKG was disallowed by COA which resulted in the suspension of the payment to the supplier which, in turn, led to the stoppage of the production and delivery of the license plates from the LTO.

The agency added that due to the disallowance, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order on the distribution of the produced plates following scrutiny by several lawmakers.

The statement further said that the Duterte administration was confronted with the production and distribution backlog of millions of license plates when it took over in 2016.

DOTr granted the request of the LTO to acquire funds for a new contract for the production of license plates while waiting for the resolution on the COA disallowance of the previous contract.

It was in 2018 when the Notice of Disallowance was lifted. In the same year, the agency started the rehabilitation of the LTO Plate Making Plant that expedited the production of license plates that used to be outsourced.

It was also in the same year that the DOTr-LTO started the release of motor vehicle plates registered in July 2016.

Currently, the statement said, the LTO, continues to prevent a recurrence of backlogs in the issuance of MV license plates and MC plates.

In its latest data, LTO recorded a total of 3,940,705 pairs of motor vehicle plates produced as of 10 August 2021.

For motorcycle plates, LTO’s latest record shows that as of 10 August 2021, a total of 6,019,150 pieces were produced by the agency from 2014. Of this number, 3,649,114 were produced from 2018 featuring the new design of MC plates.

The LTO further said that the reported backlog in the production of plates is due in large part to the lack of budget of the LTO.

From the budget it requested for 2020 amounting to PhP1,869,274,000, only PhP696,747,000 was granted.

And for the budget that the agency requested for 2021 of PhP3,574,755,000, only PhP925,412,000 was allocated.

The LTO stressed that out of this allocation, only PhP 736,747,000 was actually released to the agency which, it said, would only be sufficient to supply the license plates for the calendar year 2021, and not the backlog.

To date, the LTO has requested a budget allocation of PhP2,616,364,198.17 for the calendar year 2022 so that the agency can meet the demand to produce 16 million license plates by June 30, 2022.

The agency assured that the current LTO administration is doing everything it can to address all the MC and MV plate backlogs. —/mbmf (with details from UNTV Correspondent Asher Cadapan, Jr.)

DOTr imposes stricter protocols in transportation in areas under ECQ

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation will impose stricter health protocols in public utility vehicles (PUVs) in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said only authorized persons outside residence (APORs) as identified by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) will be accommodated by public transport services.

The department already retained the current public transport supply and capacity of 50% for areas under ECQ.

“APORs are reminded to be ready to present to transport marshals identification cards issued by the IATF or other documents or IDs as proof that they are authorized to travel,” Tugade said.

During the ECQ, public and private vehicles shall strictly observe the prescribed physical distancing and sanitary measures at all times.

For PUVs, such as buses and jeepneys are allowed to operate at 50% capacity on a “one-seat-apart” setup. Standing passengers will not be allowed, and only one passenger will be allowed at the driver’s row.

For tricycles, operations will depend on the approval of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the local government. If operations are allowed, tricycle passenger load shall not exceed one passenger in the sidecar.

All trains of the Philippine National Railways, LRT-1, LRT-2, and the MRT-3 will have transport marshals to enforce health protocols and to identify APORs. Trains will also be disinfected after every loop. Passengers showing symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to board trains. Temperature checks will be done at station entrances.

Marshals would be strictly enforcing the seven commandments of public transport safety at the transport stations and terminals, and inside public transport vehicles.

The 7 Commandments for Public Transport, based on the recommendations of health experts, are:

1. Wear masks and face shields;
2. No talking and making phone calls;
3. No eating;
4. Keep public utility vehicles well-ventilated;
5. Conduct frequent disinfection;
6. No passengers with COVID-19 symptoms are to be allowed inside public transportation; and
7. Observe appropriate physical distancing (“one-seat-apart”) rule

“We, therefore, remind the riding public of the importance of stringently observing the Public Transport Health Protocols, based on the recommendations of health experts, to protect and uphold the overall welfare of the passengers, and other transport stakeholders,” Tugade said. AAC

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