Poe warns DOTr of budget cut over PUV modernization issues

admin   •   August 28, 2018   •   5009

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

DOTr boosts testing capacity in NAIA as OFWs return for the holidays

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 17, 2020

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has boosted its One-Stop-Shop as more overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) return home for the holidays.

DOTr’s Office for the Transportation Security (OTS) Administrator Usec. Raul Del Rosario said this is to prevent the previous inconvenience caused by delayed COVID-19 test results.

Based on the OTS data, an estimated 5,000 OFWs arrive in the Philippines every day during the holidays.

Del Rosario also said additional Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel were deployed.

The One-Stop-Shop partnered with four COVID-testing laboratories to accommodate more OFWs.

Nagkaroon kami ng commitment among these laboratories, nag-commit sila na 24 hours ilalabas nila ang result at walang lalagpas ng 48 hours (We had a commitment among these laboratories. They committed to release the results in 24 hours and not exceeding 48 hours),” he said.

The One-Stop-Shop can process 10,000 swab tests per day, Del Rosario added.

Aside from the laboratories, there are also 21,000 slots available in hotels where OFWs can stay while waiting for their COVID-19 test results. -AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

Resolution urging DOTr to increase PUV seating capacity filed in Congress

Marje Pelayo   •   December 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A resolution was filed on Wednesday (December 16) in the House of Representatives (HOR) urging the government to allow an increase in the seating capacity of public utility vehicles (PUV) and to defer the implementation of the cashless transaction in expressways.

The House Committee on Transportation submitted its report and recommendations on how to address the problems in public transport.

House Resolution 1409 urges the DOTr to increase the number of roadworthy public utility vehicles to address the transportation shortage.

Committee Chairperson Representative Edgar Sarmiento explained that during the period of interpellation and debate earlier that the resolution was primarily for jeepneys.

The lawmaker noted that public utility vehicles already have barriers installed in the seats so full capacity may be allowed subject to health protocols implemented by the Inter-Agency Task Force.

The increase in the seating capacity of PUVs will also help the economy to recover.

He added that operators are complaining about their losses during the past months of the pandemic.

“Sana naman kami nakikiusap na kung may barriers lang pwede na po siguro na magkaroon na ng full capacity basta may plastic barriers,” asked Committee Chair Rep. Edgar Sarmiento.

Meanwhile, the Committee also urged the DOTr, through the House Resolution 1417, to defer the implementation of the cashless transaction in expressways to January next year.

Sarmiento said that operators should address the issues floated during the previous implementation such as heavy traffic.

Speaker Allan Velasco previously urged the DOTr to move the full implementation of the cashless transaction to March 2021. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Senate to begin probe on RFID cashless system on Dec. 17

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 14, 2020

The Senate will begin its investigation on the Toll Regulatory Board’s radio frequency identification (RFID) cashless system on Thursday (December 17), after its implementation caused heavy traffic along North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).

Senator Grace Poe, chairman of the Senate Public Services Committee, said they have also summoned the Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to provide an explanation on how to address the congestion amid the RFID implementation.

The committee will also look into the complaints about malfunctioning RFID readers.

“Nais nating maayos ang sitwasyon para sa ating mga kababayan, na hindi naman sila napeperwisyo at nahihirapang pumila doon at nakababad ng matagal. Pangalawa, nais nating malaman ano ba talaga ang naging dahilan kung bakit hindi maayos ang pagpapatakbo nito (We want to fix the situation for our fellowmen and spare them the inconvenience of queueing for hours. Secondly, we want to know the real reason for the lapses in its implementation),” she said in a statement. 

Poe said the cashless system should provide ease of travel for motorists along expressways as well as prevent them from getting infected with COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the lawmaker is also eyeing temporarily suspending the full implementation of the RFID cashless system. AAC

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