Poe wants P27M fund for road safety programs

Robie de Guzman   •   October 3, 2019   •   491

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.

MRT-3 to deploy 90 augmentation buses during suspended weekend operations

Marje Pelayo   •   July 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 90 bus units will be on standby at end terminals of Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) to ferry passengers who will be affected by the suspended weekend operations of the train system. 

The first trip will be at 5:30 am and the last trip will be at 8:00 pm from North Avenue to Taft Avenue station and vice versa.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) earlier announced the temporary suspension of weekend operations to facilitate the replacement and installation of new rails. 

READ: No MRT-3 operations in four weekends from July to September – DOtr

Maintenance works at the stations are expected to be completed by December 2020. MNP (with inputs from Joan Nano)

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Duterte tells DOTr to put more seats at NAIA

Marje Pelayo   •   July 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte expressed concern over the plight of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) crowding the premises of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

He has ordered Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to provide additional resting areas and chairs for waiting passengers.

In the past weeks, thousands of LSIs flocked the premises of NAIA hoping for their flights to proceed.

“Walang maupuan. Iilan lang ang upuan. Kapag may flights nagpatong-patong, ang iba nakatindig. What’s really worse is that mayroong restaurant sa labas na malaki,” the President told Tugade during the late night briefing on Tuesday (June 30).

(There are not enough seats. When there are flights, people would crowd and some are forced to stand. The worst part is, there’s a huge restaurant outside.)

Paalisin mo ang restaurant. Lagyan ng upuan kasi ang mga buntis, mga bata, walang upuan,” he added.

(Remove the restaurant. Put more seats because pregnant women and children have nowhere to sit.)

Meanwhile, the President asked Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año to provide for the needs of LSIs outside the airport premises. 

Gather all na naghihintay ng walang matulugan, walang matirhan at nandiyan sa labas ng NAIA,” he told Año.

(Gather all those who have no place to stay and are just staying outside of NAIA.)

“You will be transported to a place. I will pay. Just bill me [including food],” the President said. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Mini loop routes ng city buses, ipinatupad na ng DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   June 29, 2020

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MANILA, Philippines – Umarangkada na ngayong Lunes, Hunyo 29 ang mini loop routes ng city buses para makatulong sa pagbiyahe ng mga commuter.

Ayon sa Department of Transportation (DOTr), dalawa ang mini loop routes na binuksan ngayong araw: ang Monumento – MRT Quezon Avenue Station at PITX – Ayala Avenue.

Ang rutang Timog-Santolan naman ay sa Miyerkules, July 1 pa magsisimula.

Nakadugtong ang mga rutang ito sa bus augmentation ng Metro Rail Transit (MRT) line 3 na bumibiyahe sa EDSA sa pagitan ng North Avenue at Taft Avenue na binuksan ng DOTr noong June 1 kasabay ng paglipat ng Metro Manila sa general community quarantine.

“Marami kasi tayong mga commuter o mga pasahero na nag-express ng kanilang concern na wala silang masakyan from Monumento going to North Avenue or Quezon Avenue. Gayundin y’ong mga galing ng PITX papunta ng Ayala. So, ‘yon ang in-adress natin ngayon,” ani DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddess Hope Libiran.

Ayon sa kagawaran, 30 public bus units ang nakatalaga sa mga nabanggit na ruta.

Tiniyak naman ng DOTr na araw-araw ang gagawing assessment para matugunan ang pangangailangan ng mga commuter.

Alinsunod sa direktiba ng Inter-Agency Task Force, gradual o unti-unti ang pagbabalik ng operasyon ng mga pampublikong sasakyan. Una nang pinayagan ang limitadong operasyon sa itinakdang ruta ng point-to-point buses, transport network vehicle services at public utility buses. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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