MMDA to apprehend unregistered motorcycle taxis amid pilot test run

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 13, 2020   •   676

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said they will apprehend motorcycle taxis who are not registered in the pilot test run.

MMDA Chairman Jojo Garcia said apprehended motorcycle taxis will be impounded and the company they belong to might be blacklisted.

“Iyong mga nagu-uniporme na Angkas na wala sa master list, huhulihin namin kayo. Huwag ninyo po abusuhin (Those in Angkas uniform that are not in the master list, we will apprehend you. Don’t abuse it),” he said.

Motorcycle taxi companies were given a 15,000-biker cap in the number of drivers that will be registered for the pilot test run.

“So, I’m warning Angkas, Move It, and Joyride kung 15,000 lang iyong binigay sa inyong (if you only gave 15,000 on your list) , make sure it’s 15,000. Nothing more,” Garcia said.

Meanwhile, Motorcycle Taxi Service Inter-agency Technical Working Group Chairman Antonio Gardiola Jr. said Move It was not able to fill the 15,000-biker cap so the available slots will be up for redistribution.

“Starting today, the unused cap—the difference there can be taken advantage by the company na may (with) available riders diyan,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Bicol International Airport construction progress rate now at 72.2% — DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The construction of the Bicol International Airport (BIA) project is moving at a fast pace, logging an overall progress rate of 72.2 percent, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Wednesday.

The actual construction of the airport started in December 2016.

It is comprised of Packages 2A and 2B. The DOTr said that as of January 13, 2021, the package 2A of the BIA Development project is now 88.2 percent complete.

Construction work in Package 2A is being handled by the Sunwest Construction and Development Corp. and covers the airport’s landside facilities, such as the Administration Building, Air Traffic Control Building, Crash Fire Rescue Building, and the Maintenance Building.

Package 2B of the airport project, meanwhile, is now 49.5 percent complete. Package 2B which is being handled by the E.M. Cuerpo construction company, covers the construction of the passenger terminal building (PTB), taxiway, runway extension, and other site development works.

Once completed, the Bicol International Airport, which features the iconic Mayon Volcano as its magnificent backdrop, is expected to serve a total of 2 million airline passengers every year.

The new international airport is also projected to boost air traffic in the region amid the existing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The BIA initially started construction in 2008. However, development works were uncompleted until 2012.

“When the Duterte administration came in 2016, the airport’s Package 2A and 2B projects were continued,” the DOTr said in a statement.

An important component of the Duterte Administration’s “Build, Build, Build” Program, the BIA also intends to be an instrumental in the transformation of Albay Province, and the rest of the Bicol Region, into a strong economic contender.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade stressed the importance of having continuous transport infrastructure developments such as the BIA, which will prove vital as the country starts recovering from the impact of COVID-19.

“It can’t be denied that the aviation sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. That’s why it is important that we finish the airport at the soonest possible time, as this will absolutely give the economy a boost,” Tugade said.

“Gusto ko matapos ‘yan within the year dahil gusto na natin itong agad na mapakinabangan ng ating mga kababayan. As we ready for take-off, kung baga, dapat all systems go,” he added.

DOTr boosts testing capacity in NAIA as OFWs return for the holidays

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 17, 2020

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has boosted its One-Stop-Shop as more overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) return home for the holidays.

DOTr’s Office for the Transportation Security (OTS) Administrator Usec. Raul Del Rosario said this is to prevent the previous inconvenience caused by delayed COVID-19 test results.

Based on the OTS data, an estimated 5,000 OFWs arrive in the Philippines every day during the holidays.

Del Rosario also said additional Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel were deployed.

The One-Stop-Shop partnered with four COVID-testing laboratories to accommodate more OFWs.

Nagkaroon kami ng commitment among these laboratories, nag-commit sila na 24 hours ilalabas nila ang result at walang lalagpas ng 48 hours (We had a commitment among these laboratories. They committed to release the results in 24 hours and not exceeding 48 hours),” he said.

The One-Stop-Shop can process 10,000 swab tests per day, Del Rosario added.

Aside from the laboratories, there are also 21,000 slots available in hotels where OFWs can stay while waiting for their COVID-19 test results. -AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

Senate to begin probe on RFID cashless system on Dec. 17

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 14, 2020

The Senate will begin its investigation on the Toll Regulatory Board’s radio frequency identification (RFID) cashless system on Thursday (December 17), after its implementation caused heavy traffic along North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).

Senator Grace Poe, chairman of the Senate Public Services Committee, said they have also summoned the Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to provide an explanation on how to address the congestion amid the RFID implementation.

The committee will also look into the complaints about malfunctioning RFID readers.

“Nais nating maayos ang sitwasyon para sa ating mga kababayan, na hindi naman sila napeperwisyo at nahihirapang pumila doon at nakababad ng matagal. Pangalawa, nais nating malaman ano ba talaga ang naging dahilan kung bakit hindi maayos ang pagpapatakbo nito (We want to fix the situation for our fellowmen and spare them the inconvenience of queueing for hours. Secondly, we want to know the real reason for the lapses in its implementation),” she said in a statement. 

Poe said the cashless system should provide ease of travel for motorists along expressways as well as prevent them from getting infected with COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the lawmaker is also eyeing temporarily suspending the full implementation of the RFID cashless system. AAC

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