Jeepney drivers, operators still not ready for PUV modernization

admin   •   January 2, 2018   •   10291

Public Utility Jeepney. FILE PHOTO: Rolito Ponte / Photoville International

MANILA, Philippines —  The implementation of the jeepney modernization program which will impose gradual repair and changes on the structure and look of the so-called “King of the Road” has taken effect.

But until now some are still unprepared for the reforms pushed by the Duterte administration.

They argue that purchasing new units that will match the government specifications is too expensive.

“The latest models from abroad are too expensive at P1.6 million. We may not be able to afford the monthly dues,” said jeepney operator Rolando Sarafica.

 

But there are some who understand the proposed reforms of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“We cannot do anything if that is what the government wants,” Eduardo Flores, a jeepney driver said.

President Duterte has earlier asserted the continuation of the planned modernization despite the opposition of several transport groups.

“Hindi ako uupo dito, magsalita ang presidente kung hindi masusunod ang batas. January 1, kapag hindi niyo na-modernize iyan umalis na kayo (I will not sit here as president if the law will not be followed. January 1, if you have not modernized [your jeepney units], you better leave),” he said.

In a statement, Atty. Aileen Lizada of the Land Transportation and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said, if there are those who will not comply to the modernization program then they will be forced to open the system to new players and operators.

She said they are prioritizing the passengers who wish for safe public transportation. — Rajel Adora | UNTV News & Rescue

Duterte OKs grant of one-time P20K aid to employees’ compensation pensioners

Robie de Guzman   •   April 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the grant of one-time financial aid of P20,000 to qualified pensioners under the employees’ compensation (EC) program.

Under Administrative Order (AO) No. 39, which was signed on Monday, Duterte authorized the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) to grant the cash aid to EC pensioners for permanent partial disability, permanent total disability, and survivorship, in the private and public sectors, “subject to the availability of funds and pertinent laws, rules and regulations.”

Duterte directed the ECC, Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to set aside and release appropriate funding to cover the financial assistance from the Social Insurance Fund under the EC Program.

The ECC, in coordination with the SSS and GSIS, will issue the implementing rules and regulations necessary for the effective implementation of the order.

In signing the AO, Duterte recognized that the “adverse effects of the pandemic on the economy, supplementary health necessities for the battle against the virus, and restrictions imposed on our mobility and social interaction, have increased the financial and health burdens experienced by the EC pensioners.

The one-time cash aid will be granted to around 31,000 pensioners of the SSS and GSIS.

Duterte said AO 39 will take effect following its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

Statements of ‘alter-egos’ also reflect Duterte’s stand on West PH Sea issue — Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   April 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday said there is no need for President Rodrigo Duterte to speak on China’s incursions in the West Philippine Sea, saying the strong statements of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of National Defense (DND) also reflects the president’s stance on the issue.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement to dispel notions that Duterte has been silent on the reported number of Chinese vessels still lingering in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

“Doctrine of qualified political doctrine, kapag po hindi dini-dis-own ng president ang mga sinasabi ng kaniyang mga alter-egos, parang siya na po ang nagsasalita, hindi na kailangang siya ang magsalita,” Roque said in an online briefing.

The Palace official was referring to a Constitutional Doctrine which states that “utterances of alter egos are utterances of the President unless the president renounces them.”

Roque also reiterated that Duterte already stressed the importance of the 2016 Hague Ruling on the West Philippine Sea and that the Philippines will not set aside the landmark decision.

The National Task Force-West Philippine Sea earlier reported that at least 240 Chinese vessels were found lingering in various parts of the West Philippine Sea during its latest sovereignty patrols in the area.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier demanded the immediate withdrawal of the remaining Chinese vessels in the Julian Felipe Reef, telling the ships to sail away and for the Chinese to “leave our sovereign territories and abide by the international law.”

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. also repeatedly fired off diplomatic protests and called for the immediate withdrawal of Chinese vessels in the disputed waters.

43 illegally operating vehicles, impounded in NCR under anti-colorum drive — LTFRB

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has reported that 43 private vehicles have been impounded during the agency’s anti-colorum drive.

LTFRB Executive Director Joel Bolano on Friday (April 16) reported that as of April 12, 43 units have been impounded for unauthorized operations.

He also reminded the public not to hire services from colorum units especially if the implemented health and safety protocols are not followed.

Huwag pumatol sa mga colorum. Hindi po nasusunod ang ating health protocols. Baka sa kagustuhan po nating makauwi, iyong pasalubong na ating maiwuuwi ay virus. Wala rin po silang insurance na pwedeng sumagot. Ang mga public utility ay mayroon passenger accident insurance. Sana po sundan natin ang mga patakaran pagdating sa public transport (Let us not hire colorum units. They may not be following health protocols. Due to our desire to go home, we might bring home the virus instead. [These colorum] also do not have any insurance. Our public utility has what we call passenger accident insurance. I hope we follow the rules when it comes to public transport),he said.

Meanwhile, the agency admits there is a challenge in monitoring PUVs when it comes to following the 50% limited capacity.

Bolano said they are coordinating with various government agencies to make sure health protocols, as well as limited capacity in public transport, are implemented. AAC

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