LRT-2 East Extension to start ops in April 2021 – DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   March 4, 2021   •   910

MANILA, Philippines – Two additional stations of the Light Rail Transit line 2 (LRT-2) East Extension project will begin operations in the latter part of April this year, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced on Thursday.

In a statement, the DOTr said the two LRT-2 East Extension stations are the Marikina Station (in front of the Sta. Lucia mall and Robinsons) and the Antipolo Station (in front of SM Masinag).

These stations will start operations on April 27 after a soft opening to be held a day before.

The two new stations will serve commuters from Recto, Manila going to Masinag, Antipolo, and back.

Travel time from Recto to Masinag will be just around 40 minutes.

As of January 31, 2021, the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) reported that the LRT-2 East Extension Project is already 93.42% complete.

“In less than two months po, mag-ooperate na po ‘yung ating dalawang bagong istasyon,” LRTA Spokesperson Atty. Hernando Cabrera said.

Once completed, the LRT-2 East Extension can accommodate an additional 80,000 passengers daily, boosting the entire rail line’s current daily ridership to 240,000 passengers.

Cabrera said that the Package 1 of the project, which involves the construction of the eastbound and westbound viaducts, has been finished.

The Package 2, which involves the design and construction of stations, is also substantially complete.

Meanwhile, works are ongoing for the Package 3, which covers the project’s electro-mechanical system, rails, power supply, telecommunications, and signaling system.

Cabrera said that the rail line’s electro-mechanical works are being fast-tracked to meet the target date of the project’s April 2021 inauguration.

“Ongoing po ngayon ‘yan at pina-fast track na po natin ‘yung trabaho natin diyan para matupad po natin ‘yung target na April 26 inauguration,” he said.

DOTr, seafarer groups to provide seamen with affordable transient home in NCR

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and several seafarer groups on Thursday (June 17) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to provide affordable temporary living quarters for seafarers.

The DOTr, the Marino Partylist, and the Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) forged an alliance by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on CONDOTEL for Seafarers during the celebration of the Maritime Industry Authority’s (MARINA) 47th Anniversary.

The initiative will give seafarers decent temporary living quarters in the NCR while waiting to be deployed onboard ships, returning from deployment, and those employed in inter-island shipping.

Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, Marino Partylist’s Hon. Sandro Gonzalez, and AMOSUP’s Dr. Conrado F. Oca signed the MOU, solidifying their partnership in providing Filipino seafarers affordable temporary living facilities in close proximity to the MARINA and other maritime enterprises.

“Napakagandang pangitain na kung nagse-celebrate tayo ng Anibersaryo, binibigyang importansya ang mga marino. In fact, the highlight of today’s gathering can be summed up into two. Una ay ang pagpirma ng Memorandum of Understanding regarding CONDOTEL na pinapakita natin sa mga marino – na para bang sinasabi ng MARINA – nandirito at gagawa kami ng gusali na kung saan doon kayo mananatili, doon kayo maninirahan at doon kayo gagabayan. Napakagandang pangitain,” Secretary Tugade emphasized in his inspirational message.

DOTr Secretary Arthur  Tugade recognized the efforts of Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago for providing the land for the CONDOTEL, as well as the commitment of the Marino Partylist and AMOSUP for the adequate budget to be made available for the construction of the said building.

Marino Partylist Rep. Gonzalez said the project aims to provide seafarers affordable living quarters after several of them experienced eviction from their dorms in Metro Manila due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) scare.

“During the early months of this pandemic, seafarers staying in Metro Manila were evicted from their dorms and hostiles for failure to pay for their lodging because of the misconception that they came from abroad, they were carriers of COVID-19. That is our motivation for this project – the Seafarer’s CONDOTEL. With this MOU, it gives me comfort that this will never happen again,” he said.

The MOU signing was witnessed by MARINA Administrator Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad (AFP, Ret) and PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago. AAC

DOTr to review increase of passenger capacity amid easing of quarantine restrictions

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is looking into increasing passenger capacity in public transportation as quarantine restrictions ease in several areas in the Philippines.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said during a virtual presser on Wednesday (June 16) that public transportation is currently at 50% capacity.

“Paunti-unti dadagdan naitn iyan at hihingi tayo ng approval sa mga kinauukulan, higit sa lahat sa IATF at sa mga LGU,” he said.

(We will gradually increase [the capacity] and we will request approval from respective authorities, especially from the IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force] and LGUs [local government units].)

Meanwhile, the department said they will continue to increase the number of buses available to accommodate more passengers with limited capacity and to lessen congestion.

Tugade also said he has instructed his team to review if increasing the passenger capacity by 5% to 10% is possible.

“Naumpisahan na iyan. Mayroon na kaming tinatawag na pag-aaral at mag-approach kami sa IATF na kung puwede dagdagan, let’s say 5%, 10% and we make it gradual. Hindi natin pwedeng biglain iyan,” he said.

(We have started it. We are already conducting studies and we will approach the IATF if we can increase the capacity by 5% or 10% and we make it gradual. We cannot rush this.) AAC

DOT clarifies tourists of all ages from NCR Plus can still travel to Boracay until June 30

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) has clarified that tourists of all ages in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus are free to travel to Boracay and other tourist destinations under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) until June 30.

In a statement, Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat made the clarification following reports that some tourism stakeholders may not be aware that restrictions had been relaxed, even for seniors and young travelers, since June 1. She said this would further help tourism workers to return to their jobs.

“This extended liberal movement of people will allow the DOT and local government units to revive the jobs of displaced tourism workers,” Puyat said.

The NCR Plus still remains under general community quarantine (GCQ) with varying degrees of restrictions. The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) also extended its resolution to allow the movement of persons traveling in and out of NCR Plus until June 30.

The DOT said that, based on IATF Resolution 121, interzonal travel will be allowed in areas under GCQ and MGCQ for leisure purposes. However, tourists coming from Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal may only undertake point-to-point travel to GCQ and MGCQ areas

Meanwhile, Puyat urged tourism enterprises to abide by the guidelines of the IATF. This includes implementing 30% to 50% limited capacity in museums and outdoor tourist attractions.

Essential meetings and other social events such as weddings, birthday celebrations, are allowed in GCQ areas at up to 50% capacity, except for NCR and Bulacan. Essential meetings in the NCR and Bulacan will only have 30% capacity while social events will be at 10% capacity.

“The amended guidelines from the Task Force also comes with the responsibility to strictly adhere to the minimum health and safety protocols when traveling,” Puyat said. AAC 

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