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LRT-2 extension to Antipolo enters final phase

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

LRT-2 East Extension Project is set to connect eastern side with greater part of Metro Manila. The project is expected to be completed by 2020. (Courtesy of Department of Transportation Facebook Page)

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) held the ceremonial track laying and installation of electro-mechanical system (EMS) at the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) Emerald Station in Marikina City on Tuesday (April 16).

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda led the ceremony.

The track works and integration of the EMS into the existing system signal that the project has entered the final phase.

Once completed, Tugade said, it will significantly reduce travel time from Recto in Manila to Masinag in Antipolo, Rizal to just 40 minutes from three hours via bus or jeepney.

“Imagine a situation where you will travel from Claro M. Recto to Masinag, to Emerald, that will take easily three hours. With the construction of the two stations to be finalized by the fourth quarter of 2020, that travel time will be reduced to a maximum of 40 minutes,” he said.

Transportation Secretary Arturo Tugade (5th from right) and Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda (6th from right) led the ceremonial track laying and installation of electromechanical systems (EMS) of the LRT Line 2 East Extension Project on Tuesday, 16 April 2019. (Courtesy of Department of Transportation Facebook Page)

The installation of EMS will be followed by the creation of the signaling system, overhead catenary system, telecommunications system, and the power supply and distribution system, which will be used to operate trains daily.

The four-kilometer LRT-2 extension will feature two stations – the Emerald station, along Marcos highway and adjoining Gil Fernando and Felix Avenues, and the Masinag station, near Sumulong highway in Antipolo City, Rizal.

According to the Light Rail Transit Authority, the construction of viaducts and two stations are now nearing completion.

The DOTr said that overall, the project is already 60 percent complete and is expected to be finished in the fourth quarter of 2020. – Robie de Guzman

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Airlines sign pledge to decongest NAIA

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Ninoy Aquino International Airport

MANILA, Philippines – Five major local airlines committed to support the government’s initiative to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and transfer their operations to Sangley Airport in Cavite in a brief ceremony held on Wednesday (June 26).

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) led the signing ceremony of the “Pledge of Commitment” to support measures on NAIA decongestion, develop Sangley Airport and improve passenger convenience. The event was held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

The DOTr said the initiative stems from the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte, who earlier ordered the immediate transfer of general aviation operations to Sangley Point in Cavite to ease congestion at NAIA.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade earlier said the construction of additional facilities at Sangley Airport has been accelerated to meet the November operational timeline set by the President.

“We thank Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, AirAsia, PAL Express, and CebGo for uniting in this goal of providing comfort to the Filipino people. This initiative is a testament to the many ways the government and private sector can work together to solve problems. However, I am expecting that this commitment will not just remain a piece of paper, but will be implemented effectively and felt immediately by our passengers,” Tugade said.

The commitment aims to address the growing demands for air travel in the Philippines.

Prior 2016 until 2018, the DOTr said that NAIA’s annual passenger traffic increased from 36.5 million to 45 million, which is 130% of its design capacity.

Number of flights rose by 5.75%, resulting in an escalated utilization of airport slots per hour by 22.2%, or from 36 to 44.

Under the Pledge of Commitment, signatories committed to review the flight operations of their respective airline companies to rationalize flight numbers, aircraft movement and rotation, as well as the usage of slots and flying rights, to improve on-time performance.

The signatories also committed to support the development of mechanisms of discipline in the event of flight aberrations within their control.

They also assured to cooperate with government and other regulatory agencies that have the authority to determine actionable or punishable occurrences.

They also vowed disseminate accurate and timely information to the public through all available avenues and platforms, including social media and public announcement systems inside terminals and even while inside the aircraft, in instances of flight delays and cancellations. (with details from Joan Nano)

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Japan firms to support PH transport infra projects

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, May 31st, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Various Japanese firms have committed to support the infrastructure projects and programs of the Duterte administration following a series of meetings in Tokyo, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said.

During President Rodrigo Duterte’s four-day working visit in Japan, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade met with several heads of Japanese companies and organizations to discuss partnerships for the government’s infrastructure projects.

He was joined by DOTr Undersecretary for Finance Garry de Guzman in the meeting where Japanese firms confirmed their commitment to support various Philippine transport initiatives.

DOTr officials also met with senior leaders of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to discuss the implementation of Japanese-funded transportation infrastructure projects in the Philippines.

In a meeting with Taisei Corporation Chairman Takashi Yamauchi, Taisei Corporation President Yoshiyuki Murata, and D.M. Consunji Inc. (DMCI) President and COO Jorge Consunji at the Taisei Corp. Headquarters in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Tugade discussed the completion of the Philippine National Railway (PNR) Clark Phase 1 project.

He urged the Taisei Corporation and DMCI to fast-track the project’s target date of completion to the last quarter of 2021 from 2022.

Once operational, the rail segment is expected to cut the current one hour and 30 minutes travel time from Manila to Bulacan to just 35 minutes.

The transportation chief also met with officials from Sumitomo Corporation to discuss rehabilitation and maintenance updates on the Manila Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3).

The DOTr said Sumitomo has already ordered major parts and components for the MRT-3 and negotiated with its suppliers for faster delivery. Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) parts will arrive in July, while tracks and signaling components are set to be delivered in August.

Secretary Tugade also met with Toyota Motor Corporation for its possible participation in the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

Meanwhile, the Marubeni Corporation gave a letter of intent to support the Philippines’ maritime projects. The company committed to aiding the development of the country’s maritime safety capability, through the provision of maritime expertise, particularly on the design and construction of ships.

“Armed with the expertise of our Japanese partners, we are working double time to deliver our projects so that Filipinos can experience a comfortable life through enhanced mobility and connectivity,” Tugade said.

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DOTr on heightened alert for class opening on June 3

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, May 31st, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday placed all transportation hubs in the country on heightened alert in line with the opening of classes for the school year 2019 to 2020 on June 3 (Monday).

Under the “Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Balik Eskwela,” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade ordered sectoral offices and attached agencies to ensure safe and orderly commute for learners and school personnel ahead of expected heavy traffic due to class opening.

“Ayaw ‘ho natin ng dagdag na aberya sa pagbabalik-eskwela ng ating mga mag-aaral,” said Tugade in a statement posted on DOTr’s Facebook page.

“Sa pakikipagtulungan ng ating Road Transport at Railways sectors at I-ACT (Inter-Agency Council for Traffic), titiyakin po nating may pampublikong transportasyong masasakyan ang mga estudyante’t guro para sila’y tututok na lamang sa panibagong yugto ng edukasyon,” he added.

MGA TRANSPORTATION HUB SA BANSA, NAKA-HEIGHTENED ALERT NA PARA SA "OPLAN BIYAHENG AYOS: BALIK-ESKWELA" Itinaas na sa…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Thursday, 30 May 2019

The Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Balik Eskwela was launched on May 27 and will run until June 8, 2019.

Tugade also ordered for the establishment of help desks in major transportation terminals, particularly in train stations, as well as the deployment of additional ticketing booth and security personnel.

Transport agencies were also mandated to post updates on their social media accounts about the situations in terminals for the information of commuters.

The Department of Education (DepEd) earlier said more than 27 million learners from kindergarten to Grade 12 are expected for the incoming school year.

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