by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Wednesday, May 1st, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced on Tuesday that the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) rehabilitation project has officially started on May 1.
In a statement, the DOTr said the MRT-3 Maintenance Transition Team (MTT) officially handed over the overall rehabilitation and maintenance works to Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI)-TES Philippines on April 30.
DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan led the ceremonial turnover of documents.
Rehabilitation and maintenance works will be done on MRT-3’s electromechanical components, power supply system, rail tracks, depot equipment, elevators and escalators at all its stations. The 72 light rail vehicles (LRVs) will also be overhauled as part of the project.
The repair works are expected to be completed within the first 26 months of the 43-month rehabilitation and maintenance contract.
Within this period, DOTr targets to increase the number of running MRT-3 trains from 15 to 20, double the train operating speed to 60 kilometers per hour and reduce the travel time between trains to 3.5 minutes from the current 7 to 10 minutes. – Robie de Guzman
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Friday, July 19th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – Hatchback-type and sub-compact cars will now be allowed to operate as transport network vehicle service (TNVS) units, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Friday.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade signed the department order which was announced by Transport Assistant Secretary Goddess Libiran to media.
“Sec. Tugade signs the Department Order permanently allowing hatchbacks and sub-compact cars as TNVS units,” Libiran told reporters in a message.
A copy of the order has yet to be furnished to the media.
The formal signing of the department order follows Tugade’s directive on Thursday for the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to implement its Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2018-005, which allows hatchback units to operate as public transport on certain conditions.
Tugade issued the instruction following complaints from stakeholders on the matter.
“Kung kailangang baguhin ang ilang dokumento, baguhin. Kung kailangang i-improve, dapat i-improve,” Tugade said in a statement.
Under MC 2018-005, all accredited hatchback units shall be allowed to operate as public transport provided that they only operate during the transition period of three (3) years, only in Metro Manila, and charge a lower fare.
However, only hatchback units that were among the 55,000 units in the masterlist and whose applications were filed from March 5 to December 15, 2018 are entitled to the benefit granted by MC 2018-005.
DOTr Undersecretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark Richmund de Leon earlier said the LTFRB will need to amend its memorandum to allow the permanent classification of hatchbacks as TNVS units, and to re-enlist TNVS units that were previously removed from the masterlist.
He further cited that the inclusion of hatchbacks in the TNVS fleet will greatly benefit the commuting public.
“We are giving the commuters their transport options. Kung gusto niya na mas mura ang biyahe niya, mag-hatchback siya,” he said.
by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Friday, July 19th, 2019
The death toll from an animation studio fire in Kyoto, Japan on Thursday has risen to 33, local police and rescuers said.
The local fire department said 36 others have been injured, 10 of them critically, in the blaze that sent people desperately scrambling up the stairs toward the roof of the three-story building of the Kyoto Animation Co.
The blaze, ignited by a 41-year-old man with flammable liquid, is believed to be the country’s worst case of arson in decades.
About 70 people were working in the studio when the fire started.
Witnesses said that they saw victims who were badly bleeding were rushed to hospital in the incident that took place at around 10:35 local time in the city’s Fushimi Ward Thursday morning.
Police said the largest number of victims were found on the top floor of the three-story building, including some who had collapsed on the stairs leading to the roof.
The fire caused an explosion that shattered all the windows on the second and third floors.
More than 30 fire engines were deployed to the scene.
The firefighters managed to contain the fire around 03:20 local time, about five hours after it started.
“We sent out a quick report that the building had burned down. This is what has been learned from the investigation at the moment. The building, about 691 square meters, was completely destroyed,” said a Kyoto fireman.
The suspect is also being treated in hospital for injuries sustained during the fire and has been taken into custody, investigators said. His motives are yet to be determined. (REUTERS)
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Thursday, July 18th, 2019
Several people are feared dead after a fire at an animation studio in the Japanese city of Kyoto on Thursday (July 18) and police are investigating a possible arson attack, authorities and local media reported.
The fire at the Kyoto Animation studio injured more than 30 people, 10 of them seriously, and one person has been confirmed dead, a spokesman for the Kyoto City Fire Department said.
Several people were confirmed dead at the site, public broadcaster NHK reported, citing police. A Kyoto police spokesman was unable to immediately confirm the report when contacted by Reuters.
Police have taken into custody a man who poured what appeared to be gasoline around the studio, NHK said.
The studio produces the “Sound! Euphonium” series and its “Free! Road to the World – The Dream” movie is due for release this month. (REUTERS)
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