LTFRB mulls resuming operations of provincial buses from Metro Manila

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 16, 2020   •   418

After six months of temporary suspension due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Land Transportation Franchise and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is now eyeing to resume operations of provincial buses from Metro Manila.

LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra said they are continuously preparing and coordinating with several local governments on the possible return of provincial buses.

However, there are still provinces that continue to ban the entry of travelers from Metro Manila. Delgra said only Antique, Quirino, and Bataan agreed to open its doors to buses coming from Metro Manila.

“Whatever the case may be, we need to closely coordinate with the LGUs concerned because at the end of every trip it is the LGU that will receive and manage passengers in their respective jurisdictions,” he said.

Meanwhile, several local officials recommended a point-to-point scheme for provincial buses. The LTFRB reiterated they will also consider the areas along the route of the buses.

“They are suggesting na parang point to point po iyong pagbi-biyahe,” Delgra said.

Provincial bus operators have been appealing to the government to allow the resumption of their operations even if its on a limited capacity. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

After Skyway 3, SMC to work next on Pasig River road link project

Robie de Guzman   •   January 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The San Miguel Corporation (SMC) announced it will next work on the Pasig River Expressway Project (PAREX) after completing the Skyway Stage 3.

In a statement, the SMC said it will begin work on the East-West Highway in February.

“We will continue work to further decongest Metro Manila by linking east and west of the metropolis, through the Pasig River Expressway (Parex) project,” SMC president and Ramon Ang said.

Ang made the announcement during the opening ceremonies of Skyway 3 on Thursday which was attended by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Pasig River Expressway project is a 19.4-kilometer, six-lane elevated expressway along the banks of the Pasig River that will complete the north-south, east-west link, connecting R-10 in Manila, Edsa, and C5 and decongesting Rizal, Cainta, and Marikina.

Ang said the project will provide faster, alternative access to the business districts Makati, Ortigas, and BGC.

The toll road is expected to cut travel time between two areas to about 10 to 15 minutes from the two hours at present.

The project can be completed by 2023, Ang said.

Aside from PAREX, he also revealed that work has also started for the construction of the Manila International Airport project in Bulacan province.

Touted as the single-largest investment ever in the Philippines, the SMC said the airport project will connect to major thoroughfares in the metropolis. It will have four-parallel runways and modern, world-class facilities.

Ang set the opening date of the massive airport project for 2025. Two major expressways connecting to the airport will also open by 2023.

Meanwhile, the ongoing Skyway Extension project, which will extend Skyway’s reach in the south, to Susanna Heights, Muntinlupa, is set for completion this year.

Both the Parex and Bulacan airport projects are to be connected to the Skyway system, further extending the country’s infrastructure network, the SMC said.

Metro Manila LGUs allot funds for purchase of COVID-19 vaccine

Robie de Guzman   •   January 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Various local government units (LGU) in Metro Manila on Monday said they have allocated funds for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines for their constituents.

Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian said the city government will earmark P150 million budget for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines which will be provided to residents for free.

The Navotas City government also allotted P20 million for the vaccine procurement, adding that the amount can still be increased subject to the final budget allocation for the city.

Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez likewise announced the allotment of P250 million for the procurement of vaccines.

Olivarez said the vaccination program will prioritize frontline workers, senior citizens and other residents who are vulnerable to the viral disease.

The San Juan City government also said it has allocated P50 million while local government of Muntinlupa said it has earmarked P170 million for its COVID-19 vaccination plan.

Makati City Mayor Abby Binay earlier announced they have prepared P1 billion budget for their COVID-19 vaccine procurement. She said the vaccines will be administered for all Makati citizens for free.

The local governments of Manila and Quezon City both announced earlier they have allotted funds for their COVID-19 vaccination program.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso also said they have launched a pre-registration portal for the free vaccination for residents. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

Metro Manila, 7 other areas under GCQ until January 31 – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   January 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Metro Manila and seven other areas in the country will still be under general community quarantine (GCQ) classification until the end of January, Malacañang said Friday.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte extended the GCQ classification for Metro Manila, Santiago City, Batangas, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Lanao del Sur, Davao City, and Davao del Norte.

The rest of the country are placed under modified general community quarantine, he added.

The risk-level classifications take effect from January 1 until January 31, 2021.

Duterte earlier said the continued community quarantine restriction was to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus disease.

The Philippines has so far recorded a total of 475,820 COVID-19 infections with 439,895 recoveries and 9,248 fatalities. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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