Poe warns DOTr of budget cut over PUV modernization issues

admin   •   August 28, 2018   •   5186

Senator Grace Poe via Facebook

 

Senate Committee on Public Services chairperson Senator Grace Poe has warned officials of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) of a possible cut in next year’s budget if they fail to answer various concerns of jeepney drivers and operators regarding the public utility vehicle modernization program of the government.

“Kung hindi nila magagawa yan magkakaproblema sila pagdating ng kanilang budget. Nasa kapangyarihan ng Kongreso at Senado na gawin yan,” Poe said.

“Siyempre ayaw naman natin na basta ipitin dahil maraming apektado, pero kailangan muna nilang patunayan ang kanilang sarili na sa tamang paraan nila ginagasta ang pinapamahagi ng taumbayan.”

Among the issues that the senator wants to clarify is whether or not the P80,000 subsidy would be enough to allow the drivers and operators to comply with the program.

She also noted the slow-paced distribution of fuel vouchers and claimed that, to date, only 25 percent of the total population of jeepney drivers nationwide has received their vouchers.

Senator Poe was the guest of honor at Monday’s transport summit led by the transport group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON).

The event was attended by hundreds of jeepney drivers and operators who expressed their doubts and complaints anew against the PUV nmodernization program.

PISTON clarified that they support the proposed improvements in the public transportation sector, but not the current version of DOTr and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) wherein, he said, only big car manufacturers will benefit from it and not the jeepney drivers and commuters.

The group is grateful to Poe for understanding their concerns.

PISTON national president, George San Mateo said, “Kampante kami at natutuwa kami sa pahayag ni Senator Poe kasi yun naman talaga ang gusto namin mangyari – maimbestigahan ulit itong isyu ng pekeng modernization. Lalo na on the basis ng mga bagong sirkular na nilabas ng LTFRB.”

Piston is asking the Senate committee to investigate what they claim is a questionable provision under the omnibus franchising guidelines that forces the individual operators to purchase modern jeepney units.

The LTFRB on the other hand has been pushing for upgraded models of jeepney units to prevent road accidents. — Joan Nano

Around 1,000 repatriated seafarers from Norwegian cruise ship arrive home

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation  (DOTr) reported on Tuesday that around 1,000 Filipino crew members aboard a Norwegian cruise ship arrived in the Philippines on Sunday (April 11).

The DOTr and its marine sector facilitated the arrival of approximately 1000 Filipino crew members aboard the MV “Norwegian Encore” at the Port of Manila.

The repatriated Filipino seafarers underwent profiling from the Department of Health and will undergo the mandatory quarantine and testing protocols set by the national government.

The said vessel will be used as the quarantine facility under the strict supervision of the Bureau of Quarantine.

The seafarers shall also undergo swab testing on the sixth day of their quarantine proper. Expenses for the swab tests will be subsidized through the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.

“The Philippines, having positioned itself as a crew change capital in the world through the DOTr and its maritime sector, commits to provide world-class services to international vessels needing fresh crew onboard amid the pandemic,” the DOTr said. -AAC

DOTr, PPA to inaugurate new passenger building terminal of Tagbilaran Port on April 14

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) will inaugurate the new Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) of the Port of Tagbilaran.

The inauguration is scheduled for April 14 which will also be the formal start of the terminal’s operations.

“The completion of the development project is an important milestone for Tagbilaran City’s main seaport after it sustained significant structural damage from a strong earthquake in 2013,” the DOTr said in a statement.

The newly-completed PTB will augment the passenger capacity of the Port of Tagbilaran to further provide the public with more comfortable and convenient sea travel. It can accommodate 613 additional passengers, bringing the total capacity to 1,110.

In addition to the completed two (2)-story Passenger Terminal Building, the PPA also constructed a pump house, installed concrete pavements, and built lamp post foundations at the port. AAC

Filipino seafarers now part of gov’t COVID-19 vaccination priority group – DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   April 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino seafarers have moved up in the country’s list of priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced.

The DOTr said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has approved its recommendation to include Filipino sailors in the priority recipients as their work is considered crucial in keeping the economy afloat.

“This is a very good development for our maritime industry champions— our seafarers. Now, our Filipino seafarers will be given priority to be vaccinated,” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a statement.

“Paulit-ulit ko pong inilalarawan ang ating maritime workforce bilang mga silent workers ng bayan. They work silently, yet their contribution is as crucial as keeping the economy thriving. Not only are they frontliners, but they are undoubtedly HEROES, too,” he added.

From under B3 (other essential workers) or B5 (Overseas Filipino Workers) in the vaccination priority framework, Filipino seafarers have been reclassified under A4 (frontline personnel in essential sectors, including uniformed personnel and those in working sectors identified by the IATF as essential during ECQ) or the top 4 priority group.

Based on government data, there are a total of 549,000 active seafarers registered in the system. Around 497,000 of which are deployed overseas while 51,000 are serving locally. Meanwhile, a total of 181,000 seafarers are without updated sea service within the last three years.

In summary, there are 730,651 Filipino seafarers who are up for consideration in the A4 category, the DOTr said.

“The working group is in the unified position to push for the prioritization of Filipino seafarers in the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program to secure their employment, and to ensure the safe shipping operations of essential goods amid the pandemic,” DOTr Assistant Secretary Narciso Vingson Jr. added.

The DOTr said that top priority will be given to active seafarers or those with recorded sea service within the last three years, while new seafarers or those with last recorded sea service beyond 2018 shall be ranked second.

The national government is targeting to inoculate 70 million people this year but the country has so far received more than three million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

Malacañang earlier reported that more than a million Filipinos, mostly healthcare workers, have been inoculated against coronavirus disease.

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