Palace: No mass transportation crisis in Metro Manila

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 8, 2019   •   618

In response to the statement of militant group, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Malacañang on Tuesday (October 8) denied there is a mass transportation crisis in Metro Manila.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, there is no transportation crisis because commuters are still arriving to their destinations.

“Ano bang ibig sabihin nila ng transportation crisis? Ang nakikita ko lang traffic, may transportation naman,” he said.

(What do you mean transportation crisis? What I see is traffic, but there is still transportation.)

Panelo also advises commuters to just leave the house early to avoid getting late.

“May solusyon naman doon (There is a solution there). If you want to arrive early at your destination, then you go there earlier,” he added.

However, he acknowledges there is a need for improvement in the rail transport system.

“Ang solusyon doon (The solution there is), there should be improvement in the LRT. Why it’s bogging down. Ibig sabihin, maintenance ang ating problema (the maintenance is the problem). We’re not maintaining it properly,” according to Panelo.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Palace unconvinced PH has higher COVID-19 cases than Indonesia

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 7, 2020

Malacañang is not convinced that the Philippines has surpassed Indonesia in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

During a press briefing on Friday (August 7), Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Philippines is conducting more COVID-19 tests which resulted in more confirmed cases.

Ibig sabihin po dahil mas maigiting ang ating pagte-test hindi totoo na mas marami tayo kaso kaysa sa Indonesia. Hindi lamang nalalaman ng mga Indonesian kung sino-sino ang mga umiikot na mayroong sakit at least tayo alam kung sino po sila (It means we are conducting more tests. It is not true that we have more cases than Indonesia. The Indonesians don’t know who are sick at least, on our case, we know),” he said.

The Department of Health (DOH) has previously explained that the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines cannot be compared to other countries because of the population difference and health care system.

Meanwhile, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said no country can say they have been successful in their fight against COVID-19.

“No country could ever say they are successful. Look at Japan, look at Italy, even Vietnam, and Singapore,” he said. “We focus on what we are doing is appropriate, proper, and practical rather than everyday compare yourself.” -AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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.)

Expect longer queues at MRT-3 under the new normal

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 7, 2020

The Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) has warned its passengers to expect longer queues as they prepare to resume operations under the ‘new normal’.

The management will be implementing strict physical distancing where passengers are required to wear face masks. Senior citizens, pregnant women, and passengers ages 21 and below will not be allowed inside the MRT-3.

Passenger numbers will only be limited to 153 per train and those with high temperature will also not be allowed to enter.

According to MRT-3 Director for Operations Engr. Michael Capati, queues would take longer than an hour.

“They will have to allocate more time in their travel time. Kasi alam naman nila doon sa dati nating “normal”, mahaba ang pila. Matagal silang pumipila, much more dito sa ‘new normal’, mayroon compliance doon sa social distancing, (Because in the previous “normal”, lines were already long. They used to wait in line for hours, much more here in the ‘new normal’, there is compliance to social distancing),” he said.

With this, the MRT-3 management is recommending private companies to consider flexible work schedule to avoid overcrowding, especially during rush hours.

They are also planning to add more trains which include the three Dalian trains that passed in the decommissioning. Capati said there are 15 to 16 operational MRT-3 trains.

“Talgang kailangan mag-deploy ng more trains available (There is a need to deploy more available trains),” he said.

Meanwhile, the LRT-1 and LRT-2 are also preparing to implement new protocols under the ‘new normal’. LRT-2 will limit the number of passengers to 160 per train while LRT-1 will limit the number of passengers to 158. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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