Poe wants P27M fund for road safety programs

Robie de Guzman   •   October 3, 2019   •   187

Senator Grace Poe ( EPA/MARK R. CRISTINO)

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe on Wednesday said she would move for the reinstatement of the P27-million fund for road safety programs, logistics, and equipment during the 2020 budget hearing of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

During the hearing of the Senate committee on public services on bills seeking to declare every third week of November as World Day of Remembrance for road crash victims, Transportation Undersecretary Mark Richmund de Leon revealed that the 2020 DOTr budget has no appropriation for road safety programs.

He said the road safety fund was lodged in the motor vehicle users’ charge that was modified last year.

“Unfortunately, ni piso, walang pondo (for road safety),” he said.

Poe, who chairs the committee, lamented the absence of the road safety fund and vowed to push for its allocation to purchase breathalyzers which are used to test the alcohol level of motorists.

“It has to be funded, it has to be a priority kasi prevention and safety are paramount in the transportation system that we have…Tingin ko naman, magagawan ng paraan kasi buhay ang poprotektahan,” Poe said in a separate interview.

In the same hearing, families of victims of car crash told the panel that a number of cases involving vehicular accidents have been dismissed due to lack of evidence such as proof that the driver was drunk because there was no test conducted.

“‘Yung ‘pag test kung lasing ang isang driver, kasama ‘yan sa road safety, pati ‘yung drivers’ education, at iba pang programa, kaya nga diumano mga P27 million ang budget na kailangan nila rito. Bukas, magkakaroon ng pagdinig ng DOTr para sa budget, gusto ko sanang ma-reinstate ang programa na ito,” Poe said.

Meanwhile, Poe also presided over the committee’s third technical working group which seeks to formulate a transportation master plan to alleviate the plight of commuters and motorists.

The senator said that the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) reported that the project list drafted in 2014 containing priority infrastructures is still being updated and completed.

The list that will come from various implementing government agencies will form the Roadmap 2.

Poe also said that NEDA reported another plan called the Philippine Transportation System Master Plan that would include projects outside the Greater Capital Region.

The plan is still being drafted and is expected to be completed in December.

DOTr says QC-Bulacan MRT-7 project almost 50% complete

Robie de Guzman   •   November 11, 2019

Commonwealth Avenue

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Monday reported that the construction of the Metro Rail Transit line 7 (MRT-7) is now 49.22 percent complete more than three years after construction started.

In a statement on Facebook, the DOTr said that civil works of the underground/depressed, at-grade, and elevated guideway are in various stages of construction, while civil works of nine of the 14 stations are in full swing.

Trackwork installations are also ongoing.

“Likewise, the required rolling stock of 108 cars has been completed, and are awaiting shipment pending the availability of the depot/holding area,” it added.

PROGRESS REPORT: The Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) is now 49.22% COMPLETE, as of October 2019!Based on the latest…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Sunday, 10 November 2019

The 22-kilometer MRT-7 will connect Quezon City to San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan.

The line is expected to reduce travel time to 35 minutes from the current 2 to 3 hours.

The project is eyed to be completed by 2021, the DOTr said.

Modern PUV units to start plying Nichols-PITX route on Nov. 11

Marje Pelayo   •   November 8, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program has started.

In line with this, a total of 15 modern PUV units will start plying the Nichols – Magallanes – Mall of Asia – Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) route starting November 11.

The new Class 2 PUV units manifest the standards set by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), equipped with air-conditioning units, CCTV, WiFi access, GPD and side entrance.

To comply with the environmental requirements, the modern PUV units use Euro-4 fuel.

On Thursday (November 7), Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade led the turnover ceremony and inspection of the modern jeepney from engine manufacturer Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC). He was joined by Pasang Masda President Ka Obet Martin.

Tugade thanked the Pasang Masda for supporting the government’s modernization program.

“Mapapahayag ko ang aking pasasalamat sa Pasang Masda, kay Ka Obet, na winawagayway at kinakalat sa buong kapuluan ang paniniwala nila sa modernization program,” Secretary Tugade said.

For his part, Martin vowed to support the administration’s PUV modernization initiatives on the intention of providing comfort to the riding public.

 “Wala pong ibang hangarin ang ating Pangulo kundi mabigyan ng maayos na serbisyo, mabigyan ng maayos na sasakyan ang ating mga kababayan ganun din po ang panuntunan ng ating Kalihim,” Martin noted.

Meanwhile, Tugade also announced the Department’s plan to release a Class 1 PUV unit which is cheaper and with larger capacity of up to 13 passengers.

IPC President Hajime Koso, likewise, expressed confidence that their vehicles “will be able to provide a more durable, comfortable, and safe transport solution for the riding public,”

“I have always believed that the Isuzu PUVs are truly a vehicle made by the Filipinos for the Filipinos. As they say in Tagalog, ‘gawang Pilipino, para sa Pilipino,’ he said.

Secretary Tugade calls on other PUV drivers and operators to join in the government’s PUV modernization program for their benefit and the general public as well.

“Believe in the modernization program. Believe that the government will be one in you in giving the support and cooperation, so we can launch the modernization program to its really, good, ultimate culmination,” he concluded.

Local airlines offer free cargo space for Mindanao relief operations

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 6, 2019

Local airlines are offering free cargo space for the relief operations in Mindanao following the series of earthquakes and aftershocks that hit the region.

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) announced they had an agreement with the representatives of Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, and Philippine AirAsia after a meeting on November 4.

READ: DOLE raises aid to P200-M for quake-hit workers in Mindanao

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said, “Those which can avail of the free cargo include agencies and non-government organizations (NGOs) already accredited with the three airlines.”

Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific and AirAsia also committed to providing limited free transportation for relief workers or medical personnel and volunteers certified by the DSWD or DOH and endorsed by CAB.—AAC

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