LRT-2 to shorten operating hours starting April 17

Robie de Guzman   •   April 15, 2021   •   422

MANILA, Philippines – The Light Rail Transit line 2 (LRT-2) will temporarily shorten its operating hours due to the increasing number of LRT-2 frontline personnel infected with COVID-19, the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) said.

In an advisory, the LRTA said the shortened operating hours of 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. will be implemented starting Saturday, April 17 until April 30.

“Consistent with the guidelines from the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), our Management opted to shorten the operating hours so as to help us prevent the further spread of the virus and avoid the possible paralysis of our operations in case the numbers continue to surge,” LRTA Administrator Reynaldo Berroya said.

Out of 1,944 total LRT-2 employees, 1,906 have been tested from April 7 to 8. Of this number, 273 individuals were found positive for coronavirus.

The LRTA said that only 56% are currently functioning among ticket management and sales collection personnel, and about 73% among train drivers. Some 68% of the station personnel are left available with the rest under quarantine due to COVID-19 infection or exposure.

“We have already isolated all the infected/exposed personnel, have implemented work-from-home arrangements for depot workers, revisited train ventilation and air-flow protocols, and ensured that all minimum public health standards are complied with at all times to avoid the further spread of the virus,” Berroya said.

He said that the reduced operating hours will allow the LRTA to still effectively manage LRT-2 operations considering the manpower deficit and allow COVID-19 afflicted employees to recover and complete their mandatory quarantine/isolation period.

The LRTA also noted that under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) being implemented until April 30, LRT-2 is expected to experience a significant decline in ridership.

“At this time of public health emergency, the welfare and safety of both our passengers and personnel must always come first,” Berroya said.

The LRTA appealed to passengers to strictly observe all the COVID-19 protocols, stressing that “the road to beat the virus is a two-way street.”

Passengers are also reminded to always wear face masks and face shields, to be self-aware and socially disciplined, and to adhere to all COVID-19 health and safety measures in place.

Meanwhile, buses are plying Route 9 (Antipolo to Cubao) and Route 10 (Cubao to Doroteo Jose) to augment LRT-2 operations and to help accommodate affected passengers.

The normal LRT-2 operating schedule will resume on May 1, 2021, the LRTA said

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DOTr imposes stricter protocols in transportation in areas under ECQ

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation will impose stricter health protocols in public utility vehicles (PUVs) in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said only authorized persons outside residence (APORs) as identified by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) will be accommodated by public transport services.

The department already retained the current public transport supply and capacity of 50% for areas under ECQ.

“APORs are reminded to be ready to present to transport marshals identification cards issued by the IATF or other documents or IDs as proof that they are authorized to travel,” Tugade said.

During the ECQ, public and private vehicles shall strictly observe the prescribed physical distancing and sanitary measures at all times.

For PUVs, such as buses and jeepneys are allowed to operate at 50% capacity on a “one-seat-apart” setup. Standing passengers will not be allowed, and only one passenger will be allowed at the driver’s row.

For tricycles, operations will depend on the approval of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the local government. If operations are allowed, tricycle passenger load shall not exceed one passenger in the sidecar.

All trains of the Philippine National Railways, LRT-1, LRT-2, and the MRT-3 will have transport marshals to enforce health protocols and to identify APORs. Trains will also be disinfected after every loop. Passengers showing symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to board trains. Temperature checks will be done at station entrances.

Marshals would be strictly enforcing the seven commandments of public transport safety at the transport stations and terminals, and inside public transport vehicles.

The 7 Commandments for Public Transport, based on the recommendations of health experts, are:

1. Wear masks and face shields;
2. No talking and making phone calls;
3. No eating;
4. Keep public utility vehicles well-ventilated;
5. Conduct frequent disinfection;
6. No passengers with COVID-19 symptoms are to be allowed inside public transportation; and
7. Observe appropriate physical distancing (“one-seat-apart”) rule

“We, therefore, remind the riding public of the importance of stringently observing the Public Transport Health Protocols, based on the recommendations of health experts, to protect and uphold the overall welfare of the passengers, and other transport stakeholders,” Tugade said. AAC

PPA to provide free snacks for vaccinated passengers at port terminals

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) will provide free snacks to vaccinated passengers at port terminals.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade issued the directive to support the government’s anti-pandemic efforts and promote vaccination against COVID-19.

In a memorandum released on Tuesday (August 3), PPA General Manager Jay Santiago ordered all port managers to prepare free snacks at all PPA port terminals from August 3 to August 20. It will cover passengers who have received the required number of COVID-19 doses or partial doses.

“In support of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program, and in consonance with the mandate of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to keep its ports safe, you are directed to make available free light snacks for all vaccinated passengers passing through terminals under your area of responsibility,” Santiago said.

The PPA memorandum was issued after Secretary Tugade ordered the Light Rail Transit 2 (LRT-2), Manila Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) and Philippine National Railways (PNR) to also provide free rides to vaccinated commuters and authorized persons outside the residence (APORs) starting August 3 until 20 August 2021. AAC

 

Eleazar orders strict enforcement of curfew hours in Metro Manila during ECQ

Robie de Guzman   •   August 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Guillermo Eleazar on Tuesday said he has ordered the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) to ensure the strict implementation of curfew hours once Metro Manila is placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

In a statement, Eleazar said the implementation of longer curfew hours in Metro Manila will complement the strict border control that is expected to be fully implemented from August 6 to August 20.

“The strict border control and the longer curfew hours are but some of the necessary interventions to prevent the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19,” he said.

The PNP chief believes that longer curfew hours would help prevent mass gatherings in the communities.

He directed police personnel to coordinate with barangay officials in enforcing the curfew.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairperson Benhur Abalos earlier announced that starting Friday, August 6, local governments in Metro Manila will have a uniform curfew from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.

The PNP personnel will also help enforce the liquor ban that will be implemented in some local government units in Metro Manila, he added.

Eleazar urged the public to strictly follow minimum public health safety standards and quarantine protocols to prevent the spread of the more infectious Delta variant.

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