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MRT-3 operations back to normal after ‘smoke’ incident

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, March 18th, 2019

MRT passengers forced to get off the train and walk along the trails after one of the coaches emitted smoke | Image grabbed from video shared by @sntl007

The management of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) line 3 said it has launched an investigation into the cause of the smoke in one of its coaches that offloaded hundreds of its passengers on Monday evening.

Passengers were forced to alight the train between Cubao and Santolan interstation after one of its coaches began emitting smoke.

The Department of Transportation-MRT-3 management said in a statement that normal operations resumed around 30 minutes after the incident.

“At around 6:02 p.m., a train unloaded passengers at Cubao and Santolan interstation due to reported emission of smoke from underneath thee train. Passengers were assisted by the train driver and security personnel,” the statement read.

The train regained traction at 6:35 p.m. and was moved to the pocket track in Shaw Station, the DOTr-MRT-3 added.

“DOTr MRT-3 is investigating the cause of the incident, and sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience caused to our passengers,” the agency said. – Robie de Guzman

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Phivolcs raises earthquake magnitude to 6.1

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Monday, April 22nd, 2019

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has raised the earthquake magnitude to 6.1. This was after a strong earthquake rocked several areas in Luzon on Monday (April 22).

In its updated bulletin, Phivolcs reported a 6.1 magnitude earthquake with a 12-kilometer depth. Its epicenter is located in Castillejos, Zambales.

Other reported intensities include:

Intensity V -San Felipe, Zambales; Malolos and Obando, Bulacan; Quezon City; Lipa, Batangas; 
Manila City; Abucay, Bataan; Valenzuela City; Magalang, Pampanga

Intensity IV – Pasig City; Makati City; Caloocan City; Meycauayan and San Jose Del Monte, 
Bulacan; Floridablanca, Pampanga; Villasis, Pangasinan; Tagaytay City; Villasis, Pangasinan; 
Baguio City; Marikina City; Las Pinas City

Intensity III – Dasmarinas, Indang and Gen. Trias, Cavite; Lucban, Quezon; Muntinlupa City, 
Cabanatuan City; Palayan City; Gapan City; Santo Domingo and Talavera, Nueva Ecija

Intensity II – Baler, Aurora

Instrumental Intensities:

Intensity V – Angeles City; Malolos, Bulacan;

Intensity IV – Quezon City; San Juan City; Pasig City; Muntinlupa City; Gapan City; Cabanatuan 
City; Tagaytay City; San Ildefonso, Bulacan

Intensity III – Mauban, Quezon; Talisay, Batangas; Guagua, Pampanga; Olongapo City

Intensity II – Lucena City; Dolores and Lucban, Quezon; Dagupan City; Daet, Camarines Norte

Intensity I – Guinayangan, Quezon; Calatagan, Batangas; Magalang, Pampanga; Sinait, Ilocos Sur.

Phivolcs also reported possible aftershocks.

Meanwhile, LRT-1, LRT-2, and MRT-3 suspended their operations due to the recent earthquake.

-Aillen Cerrudo

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LRT-2 extension to Antipolo enters final phase

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

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

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DOTr orders suspension of LTFRB Exec. Dir. Jardin over corruption allegations

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Friday, April 5th, 2019

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Executive Director Samuel Jardin

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade has ordered the preventive suspension of Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Executive Director Samuel Jardin over allegations of corruption.

According to the DOTr’s press release, a formal complaint was also filed against Jardin for grave misconduct, wherein he allegedly solicited money amounting to PhP4.8 million in exchange for facilitating and granting the application for a Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC).

As part of the internal investigation of the DOTr, Jardin is required to submit a Verified Answer, including documentary evidence, within three days from receipt of the formal charge.

The news release maintained that Secretary Tugade has strongly reiterated that any corrupt deed, or the perception thereof, in the ranks of the DOTr offices and attached agencies will not be tolerated.

During the DOTr flag raising ceremony at the central office in Clark, Pampanga on Tuesday (April 2), Tudage announced that two high-ranking officials, then unnamed, will be meted orders of preventive suspension for alleged involvement in corruption.

With this, the DOTr issued a stern warning that disciplinary action shall come swift and unrelenting to any official or employee, no matter the rank, for the slightest hint of corruption.

According to the press kit, the transportation department maintained to wholly support the campaign of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte against graft and corruption; and that it shall not hesitate to exercise its full power and authority to rid its ranks of errant officials and employees.

The preventive suspension order, issued on Wednesday (April 3), will last for a period of 90 days. – Maris Federez

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