Local airlines offer free cargo space for Mindanao relief operations

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 6, 2019   •   621

Local airlines are offering free cargo space for the relief operations in Mindanao following the series of earthquakes and aftershocks that hit the region.

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) announced they had an agreement with the representatives of Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, and Philippine AirAsia after a meeting on November 4.

READ: DOLE raises aid to P200-M for quake-hit workers in Mindanao

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said, “Those which can avail of the free cargo include agencies and non-government organizations (NGOs) already accredited with the three airlines.”

Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific and AirAsia also committed to providing limited free transportation for relief workers or medical personnel and volunteers certified by the DSWD or DOH and endorsed by CAB.—AAC

Magnitude 6.3 earthquake rocks Batangas

Marje Pelayo   •   December 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A 6.3 magnitude earthquake rocked Luzon on Friday morning (December 25).

According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), the center of the earthquake was recorded at 7:43 AM west of Calatagan, Batangas with a depth of 74 kilometers.

It was tectonic in origin.

The tremor was felt in Metro Manila and in nearby provinces.

PHIVOLCS warned of aftershocks.

No tsunami warning was raised.

Description: EPICENTRAL MAP
Source: PHIVOLCS
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DOTr boosts testing capacity in NAIA as OFWs return for the holidays

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 17, 2020

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has boosted its One-Stop-Shop as more overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) return home for the holidays.

DOTr’s Office for the Transportation Security (OTS) Administrator Usec. Raul Del Rosario said this is to prevent the previous inconvenience caused by delayed COVID-19 test results.

Based on the OTS data, an estimated 5,000 OFWs arrive in the Philippines every day during the holidays.

Del Rosario also said additional Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel were deployed.

The One-Stop-Shop partnered with four COVID-testing laboratories to accommodate more OFWs.

Nagkaroon kami ng commitment among these laboratories, nag-commit sila na 24 hours ilalabas nila ang result at walang lalagpas ng 48 hours (We had a commitment among these laboratories. They committed to release the results in 24 hours and not exceeding 48 hours),” he said.

The One-Stop-Shop can process 10,000 swab tests per day, Del Rosario added.

Aside from the laboratories, there are also 21,000 slots available in hotels where OFWs can stay while waiting for their COVID-19 test results. -AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

Senate to begin probe on RFID cashless system on Dec. 17

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 14, 2020

The Senate will begin its investigation on the Toll Regulatory Board’s radio frequency identification (RFID) cashless system on Thursday (December 17), after its implementation caused heavy traffic along North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).

Senator Grace Poe, chairman of the Senate Public Services Committee, said they have also summoned the Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to provide an explanation on how to address the congestion amid the RFID implementation.

The committee will also look into the complaints about malfunctioning RFID readers.

“Nais nating maayos ang sitwasyon para sa ating mga kababayan, na hindi naman sila napeperwisyo at nahihirapang pumila doon at nakababad ng matagal. Pangalawa, nais nating malaman ano ba talaga ang naging dahilan kung bakit hindi maayos ang pagpapatakbo nito (We want to fix the situation for our fellowmen and spare them the inconvenience of queueing for hours. Secondly, we want to know the real reason for the lapses in its implementation),” she said in a statement. 

Poe said the cashless system should provide ease of travel for motorists along expressways as well as prevent them from getting infected with COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the lawmaker is also eyeing temporarily suspending the full implementation of the RFID cashless system. AAC

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