by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Tuesday, July 16th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced that the country’s biggest passenger terminal has been opened at the Port of Cagayan de Oro on Monday (July 15).
The DOTr said the building, which is located within the Passenger Terminal Complex of the port, is a massive two-story structure with a total floor area of 5,597 square meters.
The new terminal has a capacity of 3,000 passengers, triple its previous capacity.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, led the inauguration of the new passenger terminal building, together with Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) Manager Jay Santiago and PPA Port Manager for Misamis Oriental/Cagayan de Oro, Isidro Butaslac Jr.
“I have inaugurated many terminals during our term, and the truth is, this is the biggest passenger terminal building in the Republic of the Philippines. Ito ‘hong proyektong ito ay magbibigay tibay sa kagustuhan ng ating Pangulo na magkaroon ng mobility and connectivity sa Visayas at Mindanao (this project will fulfill the President’s wish of achieving mobility and connectivity in the Visayas and Mindanao),” Tugade said in a statement.
“With this terminal, you will have a convergence of people for mobility that will lead to economic growth,” he added.
The PTB features brand new facilities that are expected to enhance the safety and security of the riding public. It includes security checkpoints with x-ray scanners for baggage, body scanners, CCTVs, passenger boarding stations, collector’s booth, public assistance desk, designated green areas, storage room, and offices for passenger-related agencies such as quarantine, tourist police, and the Coast Guard, the DOTr said.
It also features amenities such as a play area for children, child care station, ecumenical prayer rooms, drinking fountains, toilet facilities, urgent medical care room, food stalls, pasalubong centers, and a special boarding lane for senior citizens, PWDs, pregnant women, and women traveling with children below two years old.
Aside from the new passenger terminal building, also inaugurated on Monday were the Port of Cagayan de Oro’s new electronic gate complex and the Opol Port in Misamis Oriental.
Meanwhile, the DOTr also announced that the terminal fee exemption for students has started on Monday in all PPA-owned and operated ports nationwide. Senior citizens, PWDs, and active personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) are also exempted from paying terminal fees.
The department earlier said that students, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and selected uniform personnel in active service would get free rides as part of the government’s efforts to provide Filipinos comfortable lives.
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade on Wednesday met with Senator Francis Tolentino to discuss plans on refiling an emergency powers bill to solve the country’s traffic woes, particularly in Metro Manila.
Tugade said he met with Tolentino to tackle the measure that has been pending in both chambers of Congress for more than two years.
The transportation chief said he will do his best to convince lawmakers to pass the bill, which he sees as a vital solution to the country’s perennial problem on traffic.
“‘Wag po nating pabaunan ng duda ‘yung deliberasyon, pababaunan ko yan ng kaliwanagan sa pag-uusap. Naniniwala ako na kung ang mga mag-uusap ay may kaliwanagan, magkakaroon ng kooperasyon, pwede po nating mapadali ito,” he told reporters in an interview.
(Let us not cast doubt on the deliberation, I will shed light on its importance during discussion. I believe than when it is tackled by people who understand it, there will be cooperation. This can be fast-tracked.)
Tolentino earlier said he will push for the emergency powers bid once the incoming 18th Congress convenes on July 22.
The lawmaker said his version of the bill focuses on strengthening the mandate of concerned agencies and local government units to address the traffic crisis.
“Nalagyan natin ng ibang detalye na wala dati, for instance ‘yung working hours, ‘yung adjustment ng oras ng pagpasok at yung role ng mga local government units,” he said.
(We have placed there details that are not present in the previous bill, for instance the working hours, adjustment of working hours and the role of local government units.)
The bill seeking to ease the worsening traffic situation was first filed after Duterte said in his 2016 State of the Nation Address that traffic problems should be legitimately addressed if Congress could accord him emergency powers.
He eventually gave up on his plan after some lawmakers said that the emergency powers might be used for corruption.
Under the proposed Traffic Crisis Act, previously filed in the 17th Congress, the Transportation Secretary will be designated as Traffic Chief with power of control and supervision over land transportation agencies. He will also have the authority to harmonize and enforce all traffic rules and regulations to implement a unified traffic system throughout each of the metropolitan areas and implement programs that will have significant impact on addressing the traffic crisis.
The bill was approved on third and final reading of the House of Representatives while its Senate version reached the plenary but was not approved until the 17th Congress adjourned.
Although there is a need to resolve the worsening traffic woes in the country, the DOTr said that once the bill is refiled, they will not ask the president to certify it as urgent.
“Kung magkasundo po kami sa mga datos at detalye, hindi po ba mas magandang pumunta kami kay pangulo na handa na yung detalye kaysa blanket na hihingin na wala pang detalye? Hindi ho ba mas magandang proseso yung ganun?” he said. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – More than 4,000 pieces of brand new rails for the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) have been delivered to the Philippines, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Wednesday.
In a Facebook post, the DOTr said the rails, each measuring 18 meters long, have arrived on Tuesday at the Port of Manila from Japan. The delivery was made months ahead of the expected delivery date, the agency added.
From the Port of Manila, the Japan-made rails were transported to the Tracks Laydown Yard near the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).
The DOTr said its installation onto the MRT-3 mainline is scheduled to begin in November if the rest of tracks are delivered in October as expected.
To avoid disruption in the line’s daily train service, the agency said, rail replacement works will only take place during non-operating hours.
The DOTr expects the new rails to reduce excess vibration of trains which cause damage to its electrical and mechanical component, and later leads to glitches or train breakdown.
The procurement of new rails is part of the ongoing comprehensive rehabilitation of the MRT-3 to bring back the railway’s high-grade design condition, according to the DOTr.
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