Over 300 airport screening officers receive job status upgrade

Marje Pelayo   •   May 9, 2018   •   4393

FILE PHOTO: Security personnel at Clark International Airport screening passenger luggage

 

PASAY CITY, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) Transport Security Office on Wednesday, May 9, revealed that over 300 airport security screening officers (SSOs) across the country were recently promoted from job order to contractual status.

The Office for Transportation Security (OTS)sees the decision as a continuation of the agency’s rationalization plan and is in alignment with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive on “endo” and contractualization.

With the promotion, these individuals will get to enjoy the same benefits as permanent employees such as allowances, bonuses and other privileges.

OTS Administrator Undersecretary Arturo Evangelista reminded the newly promoted SSOs that “public service is about sacrifice and most of the time, this is what is expected out of government employees,” warning them against extortion and corruption at the airport.

The partial number of promoted personnel were assigned at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Caticlan Airport, Laguindingan Airport, Davao International Airport, Zamboanga Airport,Ozamis Airport, San Jose Airport, IloIlo Interntional Airport, Bacolod-Silay International Airport, Legazpi Airport and Tablas Airport. – UNTV News & Rescue

MRT-3 reports drop in unloading incidents in 2019

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The number of unloading incidents recorded from January to September this year in the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) has only reached 18 so far, its management reported on Monday.

According to official records of the MRT-3 control center, this is much lower when compared to 480 unloading incidents reported in the same period in 2016, which was the highest number recorded since 2012.

In a Facebook post, the MRT-3 said the significant improvement was observed after they stopped the “force deployment” of “unsafe and reliable trains” as practiced by MRT-3’s previous maintenance provider.

MAGANDANG BALITA!DAMANG-DAMA na ang lamig sa loob ng tren ng MRT-3 dahil naikabit na ang 93 bagong air-conditioning…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Saturday, 14 September 2019

“Amin din pong nais na klaruhin na ang MRT-3 ay hindi kailanman nagdedeploy ng tren na depektibo o sira. Mahalaga sa amin ang kaligtasan ng aming mga pasahero,” the agency said in a statement.

(We also wish to clarify that the MRT-3 has never deployed defective trains. The safety of our passengers is very important to us.)

“Katunayan, ipinatigil po namin ang naging kasanayan ng dating maintenance providers na ‘force deployment’ ng ‘unsafe at unreliable trains’, dahil sila noon ay nababayaran base sa numero ng tren na kanilang nadedeploy, sirain man o hindi,” it added.

(In fact, we have stopped the practice of ‘force deployment’ of ‘unsafe and unreliable trains’ by former maintenance providers as they are paid based on the number of deployed trains, regardless of whether it broke down or not.)

The MRT-3 management also said that compared to previous years, its warehouse now contains enough number of spare parts to repair broken train system components.

“Kung dati rin ay halos walang lamang spare parts ang MRT-3 warehouse, ngayon po ay nag-uumapaw ito sa dami. Ibig sabihin, sapat na ang mga spare parts na gagamitin sa pagkukumpuni ng mga bagon at sistema ng MRT-3,” it said.

(If in the past, the MRT-3 warehouse contained little to no spare parts, now, it is overflowing. It means there are enough spare parts for fixing MRT-3 coaches and system components.)

The agency also reported other improvements brought about by the ongoing comprehensive rehabilitation program, including the full operation of elevators in all MRT-3 stations and the operation of 30 of the total 46 escalators.

93 air-conditioning units have also been installed at MRT-3 coaches with 87 more units to be delivered soon.

Around 4,053 pieces of new rails to replace degraded MRT-3 mainline tracks have also been completely delivered.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) earlier announced that the processing of rail replacements for will start in November until February 2021 at the welding area in the railway’s Taft Avenue Station.

READ: MRT-3 rail replacement works to kick off in November – DOTr

The department earlier said the installation of replacement rails will only take place non-operating hours to avoid disruption in the line’s daily train service.

The DOTr expects the new rails to reduce excess vibration of trains which cause damage to its electrical and mechanical component and later lead to glitches or train breakdown.

By the end of the rehabilitation works, the department said MRT-3 running trains will be increased from 15 to 20 with speed up to 60 kilometers per hour.

The waiting time between trains is also seen to go down from the current 7.5 minutes to 3.5 minutes.

“Makakaasa po kayo na pagsapit ng July 2021, o 26 months mula nang magsimula ang rehabilitasyon noong Mayo, ganap nang mararamdaman ang mga pagbabago sa MRT-3,” the MRT-3 management said.

Construction of Mindanao railway system to begin in 2020

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2019

Image from Department of Transportation (DOTr)

MANILA, Philippines – The construction of the first phase of the Mindanao Railway System is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2020, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced Monday.

The DOTr said the bidding for the construction of the project will be held on November 2019 while the groundbreaking is scheduled early next year, citing a Facebook post of Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Chairman Manny Piñol.   

Phase 1 of the Mindanao railway project covers 102 kilometers linking the Davao region through its major cities Davao City, Tagum and Digos.

It is designed to accommodate around 110,000 passengers per day in its opening year.

During a briefing last Sept. 12, Piñol asked project planners to consider the coastal areas of Surigao down to Davao Occidental and Sultan Kudarat provinces in the railway project.

These coastal regions, according to Piñol, could be transformed into major food production and tourism areas if they are connected to the railway system.

The MinDA chief said his agency will provide the project’s engineering consultants a commodity map of Mindanao to help them identify key production areas in the region.

Piñol added that the groundwork for the succeeding phases of the 1,550-kilometer railway system is also being prepared by a group of Chinese engineering consultants.

The Mindanao Railway project is seen to be completed by 2022. It is projected to increase the daily ridership of the Tagum-Davao-Digos segment to 134,060 once it becomes operational.

The railway’s first segment is also envisioned to reduce travel time from Tagum City, Davao del Norte to Digos City, Davao del Sur from 3.5 hours to 1.3 hours.

MRT-3 resumes partial ops after Guadalupe station cable cut off

Robie de Guzman   •   September 6, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday said it has restored partial operations of the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) train service as of 9:45 a.m. after a cut in the overhead catenary system (OCS) caused the suspension of the entire operations earlier.

“MRT-3 resumes partial operations from North Avenue Station to Shaw Boulevard Station (both bounds) as of 9:45 a.m.,” the DOTr-MRT-3 said in an advisory.

“Repair works to restore full service in the entire line is ongoing,” it added.

MRT-3 operations were suspended around 6:42 a.m. Friday due to a reported OCS cable cut which caused insufficient power supply from Shaw Boulevard to Santolan.

The management then implemented provisional service from North Avenue to Shaw Boulevard.

In its 10 a.m. update on Twitter, the DOTr-MRT-3 said that repair works is still ongoing to restore full service in the entire line before 5 p.m. Friday.

It also reported that as of 10:43 a.m., six trains are running in the mainline with 10 minutes headway, and passengers were able to board the train in partial operations from North Ave. Station to Shaw Boulevard.

The MRT-3 management assured that once the full operations have been restored, it will conduct an investigation to determine how the overhead catenary cable could have been cut.

“We will issue an advisory every hour today until Full Operations is resumed. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience,” it said.

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