LRT-2 extension to Antipolo enters final phase

Robie de Guzman   •   April 16, 2019   •   3040

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

DOTr orders intensified activation of help desks in transport hubs for “Undas”

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Tuesday ordered its attached agencies to intensify the activation of Malasakit Help Desks (MHD) at all transport hubs across the country for the Catholic community’s annual observance of Undas.

In a statement, the DOTr said this is in line with the initiative “Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Undas 2019” aimed at ensuring the safety of travelers bound for provinces in the upcoming Undas season.

The DOTr said the help desks will be activated from October 25 to November 4, 2019, when the influx of passengers going to and coming from provinces is expected to be high.

The help desks will serve as a one-stop-shop for passenger assistance in airports, seaports, train stations, and land terminals.

“It is imperative that all our MHDs are properly manned and equipped to address the varied concerns and requests for assistance by the public, Napakaraming Pilipinong bumibiyahe tuwing Undas, at ayokong nagkukulang tayo sa pag-aasiste sa kanila,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.

“Gawin nating maginhawa at maayos ang kanilang paglalakbay,” he added.

The DOTr said passengers may ask assistance from the help desks for transport-related inquiries and complaints, as well as medical emergency cases in transport hubs during Undas.

Construction of Sangley Airport now 72% complete — DOTr

Marje Pelayo   •   September 17, 2019

Courtesy: the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Facebook

MANILA, Philippines – Sangley Airport in Cavite is almost done, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

The new airport is now 72% complete as construction works run 24/7 for the general aviation and turboprop operations of the airport.

Structural works have been continuous for the prompt completion of the passenger terminal building as well as the grade preparation for the hangar’s concrete slab.

Roofing and gutter installation is almost complete, according to DOTr, as well as the ramp and taxiway construction including the drainage system at the airport’s landside area.

The ongoing construction is in line with the directive of DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade to make sure that the facility will be completed in time for the deadline set by President Rodrigo Duterte which is in November of this year.

Once completed, the Sangley Airport is expected help decongest airport traffic at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

DOTr defends bid to grant emergency powers to Duterte

Maris Federez   •   September 5, 2019

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Thursday (Sept. 5) appealed to the House of Representatives (HOR) to grant emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte.

This is to give the government more latitude in addressing the traffic problems, particularly in Metro Manila.

While DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade agrees to the lawmakers that several traffic strategies can be implemented even without any grant of emergency powers to the executive, he said such implementation will be slow and might not still be completed even after their term in office has ended.

Tugade further said government projects that are aimed at solving the traffic problems in the country may even be stalled by the long processes in the bureaucracy and even by some laws, such as, on the Right of Way.

To which some members of the House disagree.

“In other countries, no emergency powers were granted to the executive to solve the traffic congestion,” said Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman.

Tugade, on the other hand, said, “emergency power is not forever. It has a defined time. In fact, sinasabi ho namin noon at uulitin ko ngayon, yung emergency power noon was between two to three years kung naibigay ho noon yan [we’d been saying ever since, and I’m saying it again, the emergency powers (we’ve been asking then) was between two and three years, if it had been granted then].”

Earlier on Thursday, the DOTr presented to the House their P147-billion proposed budget for 2020.

A major portion of this will be allocated to the railway sector with P108-billion budget, or equivalent to 98.78% of the department’s total budget.

The department believes that improving the railway sector will be a big help in easing the transportation problems not just in Metro Manila but in other key areas in the country as well. (from the report of Vincent Arboleda) /mbmf

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