OFW railway engineer returns to PH to help build subway, LRT-2

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 5, 2019   •   1983

Engineer Deo Miranda

An Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) railway engineer in Denmark has returned home to the Philippines in order to help build the LRT-2 subway.

Deo Miranda attended the flag ceremony of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Tuesday (November 5).

As a railway engineer in Denmark, Deo has the skills and knowledge to know about the said transportation.

When he stumbled upon a viral post of a cutter head prototype for the Metro Manila Subway Project, he knew what he had to do.

On Monday (November 4), Deo started his work as Engineer IV for the LRT-2 East and LRT-2 West Project Teams. He left his stable job overseas in order to contribute to the development of his country.

“We are here to support our current administration who has the vision and commitment to achieve the comfortable mass transport for Filipinos,” Deo said after receiving the call that confirmed his employment with government.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade lauded Deo’s choice of giving back to country.

“Para sa akin, bayani ang mga OFWs. Bayani sila dahil sila ay nagsasakripisyo at nakikipagsapalaran sa ibang bansa para maiahon ang kani-kanilang pamilya sa hirap. Ngunit talaga ring nakakaantig ng puso kung ang isang OFW, kahit sobrang laki ng kinikita sa ibang bansa, magdedesisyong bumalik at tumulong sa bayan at magsabing: Pilipinas naman (For me, OFWs are heroes. They are heroes because they sacrifice and work overseas in order to help their family. But it is really heartwarming that an OFW, despite the hefty salary overseas, decided to return to help the country: It’s the Philippines’ turn),” he said.

Deo and other OFWs already met with the DOTr and other transport officials at the ASEAN Convention Center in Clark, Pampanga in July 2019 to discuss about the country’s transit system.—AAC

MRT-3 begins earlier bus trips after commuter woes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 8, 2020

The MRT-3 management has set an earlier schedule for their bus augmentation after commuters experienced longer queues due to MRT-3’s suspended operations.

Roma Salazar, one of the commuters, said she had to adjust her travel time by two hours earlier after the MRT-3 halted its operations due to the spike in COVID-19 cases among its employees.

“Dapat kasi ang alis ko ng bahay 6:00 a.m. Since nawalan ng byahe ang MRT, inagahan ko nang alis nang 4:00 a.m. kasi expected ko na mahaba ang pila, (I usually leave at 6:00 a.m., but since MRT is closed I left the house at 4:00 a.m. I expected the lines would be long),” she said.

From the previous 5:30 a.m. schedule for the bus trips, the MRT-3 management set it at 5:00 a.m. on Wednesday (July 8). Several modified bus stops were also opened along the center island on EDSA.

The stations include: North Avenue, Quezon Avenue, Main Avenue, Santolan, Ortigas, Guadalupe, Ayala, and Taft Avenue.

However, this caused confusion among several commuters. Some of them had to walk to reach the modified bus stops.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Spokesperson Asec. Goddes Hope Libiran is appealing for public commuters’ understanding, saying the new protocols cater to their safety.

“Ito naman po ay hindi naman permanente. Interim lang po ito habang nagkakaroon ng problema sa ating MRT-3. Sa lalong madaling panahon, inaayos naman natin iyan para makababa at makasakay ulit sila doon sa mga istasyon na binababaan nila dati, (This is only temporary. This is only an interim while there are issues with MRT-3. We are fixing the matter as soon as possible so commuters can board and alight at the original stations)” she said. AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Marikina City to shorten quarantine period for returning OFW residents

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 8, 2020

The Marikina City government announced that returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who are residents of the city will have shorter quarantine period.

Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said residents who are OFW returnees will no longer have to undergo the 14-day quarantine period but instead will immediately be transported to the city from the airport for a one or two-day quarantine.

“Pansamantala, isa o dalawang araw, iku-quarantine sila sa Marikina Hotel doon sa ating quarantine facility at doon iti-test na rin sila at isa-swab, (They will be quarantined at the Marikina Hotel, our quarantine facility, for one or two days. They will be tested there),” he said.

Since Marikina has its own testing center, Teodoro said the OFWs don’t need to wait for long periods of time to be able to go home to their families. In case any of them tests positive for COVID-19, the Marikina Mayor assured they will be given immediate medical attention.

According to the latest reports of the Marikina government, 264 returning OFWs that arrived since April are from Marikina City, 161 of them have already received assistance from the local government.

The local government aims to implement the new quarantine protocol by next week. AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

Solon pushes for military honors for OFWs who died of COVID-19 abroad

Marje Pelayo   •   July 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker is pushing for the granting of military honors to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who succumbed to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) abroad as they can be considered as ‘modern-day heroes.’

Senior Citizen Party-list Rep. Francisco Datol Jr. in House Resolution No. 1027 said the sacrifices of OFWs and their significant contribution to the country’s economy are enough to merit them such military honors. 

Based on the latest count of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), a total of 577 OFWs have already died of COVID-19 from the overall number of 8,679 confirmed cases across the globe.

Datol said OFWs are qualified under The Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines for their unconditional sacrifices as overseas workers.

The lawmaker also proposed that the government shoulder the complete burial expenses of every OFW who died of COVID-19 abroad as part of the full military honors. 

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