MRT-3 to operate at reduced capacity as COVID-19 cases in depot rise to 127

Maris Federez   •   July 2, 2020   •   482

MANILA, Philippines — The MRT management will limit the number of trains in operation starting July 6.

This after a number of its personnel tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), bringing the total of positive cases to 127, a Department of Transportation (DOTr) advisory said.

Initial report said the 127 cases consist of 124 Sumitomo Depot personnel and 3 MRT-3 Depot personnel who will be placed under mandatory quarantine and medication.

DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said that with the guidance of the IATF-EID and upon the advice of Sumitomo-MHI, MRT-3 will be able to continue operations, with the possibility of reducing capacity or with fewer trains.

“Sumitomo requested to discuss on a day-by-day basis the level of operations that they can sustain as results of the mass swab testing continue to be released. In the meantime, Sumitomo advised that they are able to continue with operations to service MRT-3’s tens of thousands of passengers, although at a reduced level,” said Usec Batan.

“While we try to do our best to keep the same maintenance performance through this week, we would like to discuss with DOTr MRT3 office day by day, how much maintenance level we would be able to keep, in view of the number of COVID-19 infected people,” said Masanori Honda of Sumitomo.

The advisory also said that “to augment MRT-3’s further reduced capacity due to the quarantine of some of its depot personnel, DOTr will be boosting its Bus Augmentation Program and EDSA Busway service, in coordination with the DOTr Road Sector, LTFRB, and MMDA.”

“Per guidance of the IATF-EID, additional measures and precautions will be taken during MRT-3’s reduced operations, including requiring full PPE for stations and depot personnel, limiting movement of depot personnel to their immediate areas of responsibility, increased disinfection activities, and heightened monitoring and screening of symptoms among all personnel,” the advisory further read.

Meanwhile, MRT reminds the public that it will suspend operation on July 4 and 5 to give way to their rail replacement activities. —(with details from Joan Nano) /mbmf

MMDA denies reports on Metro Manila reverting to MECQ

Marje Pelayo   •   July 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Danny Lim has denied reports that local chief executives in the National Capital Region (NCR) have suggested to revert Metro Manila to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status.

In an interview, Lim denounced the reports as fake news saying that the Metro Manila Council of Mayors actually suggested extending the general community quarantine in NCR starting August 1. 

President Rodrigo Duterte, meanwhile, is expected to announce the new quarantine measures on July 31 that will be implemented across the country. –MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

LTFRB to open more routes for public transportation

Marje Pelayo   •   July 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is planning to open additional routes for public transportation as more industries open and employees gradually returning to work. 

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assistant Secretary Goddess Hope Libiran said there are no details yet on the list routes or when it will be finalized. 

Pinag-iisipan at pinagpaplanuhan na ng LTFRB ang pagdadagdag ng up to 10 percent sa bilang ng mga ruta ng mga pampublikong sasakyan sa buong bansa,” the official said.

Kasalukuyang hinihimay-himay ng LTFRB kung ilan na ang mga ruta at sasakyang bumibiyahe sa iba’t-ibang regions para mapagdesisyunan kung ilan at saan pang ruta ang kinakailangang buksan,” she added.

Currently, there are a total of 6,002 units of traditional jeepneys; 900 units of UV Express vehicles; 22,230 units of transport network vehicle service (TNVS); 19,409 units of taxis; and 271 point-to-point buses have been allowed to resume operations. 

Also, over 20 routes have been opened for traditional jeepneys. 

On Monday (July 20), the agency resumed operations in its central office along East Avenue, Quezon after days of temporary closure to give way to disinfection and decontamination efforts against coronavirus disease (COVID-19). 

Transactions remain limited and stakeholders are advised to access the agency’s website to process applications online and to minimize physical contact. 

Procedures which can be made online include:

  • Request for Special Permit
  • Correction of Typographical Errors
  • Request for Confirmation of Units
  • Request for Franchise Verification
  • Request for Issuance or Extension of Provisional Authority
  • Legal concerns

For inquiries, stakeholders may visit the LTFRB’s official Facebook page. MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

LTFRB central office closes for a week from July 13 to 17

Marje Pelayo   •   July 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The central office of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is temporarily closed from July 13 to 17 to give way to disinfection measures after five of its employees tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Nangyari po lahat ‘yan habang mahigpit na sinusunod ng ahensya ang mga public safety protocols (This happened while the agency was strictly imposing public safety protocols),” said LTFRB Chairman Atty. Martin B. Delgra III.

Dahil sa sitwasyon ngayon sa tanggapan ng LTFRB, at para sa kaligtasan ng mga empleyado, ang aming mga stakeholders, at ng publiko, napagpasya naming itigil muna ang operasyon ng LTFRB Central Office simula sa Lunes. Hindi pinapayagang pumasok sa opisina ang mga tauhan ng ahensya,” he added.

(Due to the situation now at our central office in LTFRB, and for the protection of our employees, stakeholders and the general public, we decided to temporarily stop the operation of LTFRB Central Office from Monday. All personnel are not allowed to enter the office premises.)

The agency advised the public that transactions relative to the following services will be temporarily deferred:

  • 24/7 Public Assistance Complaints Desk 1342
  • Inquiries on legal matters
  • New Application for CPC
  • Application for Extension of Validity
  • Petition for Dropping and Substitution of Units
  • Petition for Dropping of Units
  • Petition for Installation of Advertising Sign
  • Application for Consolidation of Cases
  • Petition for Change Venue of Registration
  • Petition for Adoption of Trade Name
  • Petition for Storage of Unit Plate
  • Petition for Upgrading/Downgrading of Units
  • Petition for Cancellation of Franchise
  • Petition for Withdrawal of Application
  • Petition for Adoption of Color Scheme
  • Application for Change of Party Applicant
  • Request for Garage and Unit Inspection
  • Surrender of Plates
  • Clearance of Account
  • Assessment of Fees
  • Re- Assessment of Fees
  • Releasing of Assessment of fees
  • Issuance of Special Permit
  • Clearance and Releasing of Impounded Vehicles

Meanwhile, the following services may be transacted online: 

  • Request for Special Permit;
  • Correction of Typographical Error;
  • Request for Confirmation of Unit/s;
  • Request for Franchise Verification;
  • Request for Issuance or Extension Provisional Authority;
  • Legal Concerns/Query on Hearing Schedule, Status

The LTFRB stressed that only its central office located along East Avenue, Quezon City will be temporarily closed.

Affected stakeholders may transact their concerns through the LTFRB-NCR’s Public Transport Online Processing System (PTOPS).

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