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Premium taxi drivers to get salary, benefits in new guidelines

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, May 24th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) released on Thursday (May 23) the new guidelines that provide premium taxi drivers regular salaries and benefits.

On its official Facebook page, the DOTr announced the released of Department Order 2019-007 signed on May 8, in which the DOTr introduced the “Taxi Modernization Program.”

Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade said the new guidelines will benefit both commuters and drivers.

“Our transport modernization programs aim to uplift three elements: the safety and comfort of the riding public, the state of road transportation, and the welfare of transport operators and drivers,” he said in the statement.

“Through the Taxi Modernization Program, we provide additional options for mobility to the public while giving our taxi drivers regular compensation and benefits,” he added.

Tugade noted that the release of the amended guidelines complements DOTr’s campaign for road safety awareness and is expected to reduce the risk of road incidents in Metro Manila.

“When our drivers are salaried, they do not need to rush on the road to maximize the number of passengers and flagdowns they could get in a day,” he said.

“With the amended vehicle specifications for premium taxis, we put on our roads vehicles that are safer and environment-friendly,” he added.

The amended guidelines require all premium taxi units to be at least Euro-4 compliant.

They shall be reclassified as either silver or gold based on body types, displacement or power rating, leg room and luggage compartment upon the determination of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

The new guidelines also set a maximum age limit for the vehicles, which shall not exceed seven years as reflected in the Certificate of Registration.

For applicants who wish to apply for a franchise to premium taxi service, the units to be applied shall not be more than three years old upon application of Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC.)

Electric vehicles with at least 100-kilowatt output and hybrid vehicles with at least 1,800 cubic centimeters (cc) rated engine displacement may also be applied as alternative vehicles.

Meanwhile, all premium taxis are required to have free internet access for passengers, equipped with on-board navigation system (GPS) or mobile-based application and dashboard cameras.

Likewise, drivers of premium taxi service must wear proper uniform and must provide a door-to-door service with no fixed route within a specified area.

LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III noted that the premium taxi service will provide significant contribution to the implementation of the PUV modernization program for the benefit of the commuters and PUV stakeholders.

“Nowadays, improved riding experience is a premium that Filipinos are found to be willing to pay for. And with more modern vehicles plying our roads, we make road transport safer, more reliable and convenient for our passengers,” he said.

The DOTr also plans to open premium taxi service franchises in highly urbanized cities outside of Metro Manila. – Marje Pelayo

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New PH law requires free internet, clean restrooms in terminals

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Transport terminals in the country are now required to have clean sanitary facilities and free internet services for passengers after President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Republic Act 11311.

Duterte signed the law on April 17, a copy of which was released by Malacañang on Wednesday.

The law mandates the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), in coordination with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and other concerned stakeholders, to ensure that free internet services are provided in land transportation stations and roll-on/roll-off (RORO) terminals.

Terminal owners, operators or administrators are also ordered to have separate restrooms for persons with disabilities, male and female passengers, as well as lactation station for breastfeeding mothers.

The law also states that collecting fees from passengers for the use of regular sanitary facilities is unlawful. A passenger must also show the paid bus ticket for the day in order to avail of the free use of sanitary facilities.

The measure, however, does not cover well-appointed or deluxe sanitary facilities that are operated solely for commercial purposes and for the convenience of passengers who require and prefer such terminal facilities.

Terminal operators and administrators who fail to comply with the law shall be fined with P5,000 for each day of violation; another P5,000 each day for collecting fees from passengers for the use of sanitary facilities.

Another P5,000 fine each day will also be imposed if operators fail to provide and maintain a lactation station in transport terminals.

The fines will be subject for review every five years by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). Any necessary adjustments on the amount will be subject to the approval of the DOTr Secretary.

The measure mandates the DOTr, in coordination with the DICT, LTFRB, Department of Health, the Philippine Ports Authority and other stakeholders, to release the implementing rules and regulations within 60 days that the law has become effective.

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Airline companies agree to relocate flights to Sangley Airport

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, June 14th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Airline companies have agreed to use Sangley Airport in Cavite for general aviation, freight turboprop operations, and commercial turboprop operations, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Thursday.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade made the announcement after he met with airline officials to discuss the immediate operationalization of Sangley airport and the government’s move to address aviation concerns.

The DOTr said general aviation refers to the operation of a civil aircraft other than a commercial air transport operation or aerial work operation.

“General aviation users will be notified to fully relocate in a year’s time to Clark International Airport (CRK) in Pampanga and Sangley Airport to help decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA),” Tugade said.

Tugade said the move will free up space in the four terminals of the NAIA to allow for improvements and additions in the main gateway.

The transportation chief added that during the meeting, airline companies have pledged to cooperate with the government’s move to open Sangley Airport, as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“It was a productive and mutually beneficial meeting. Airlines expressed their willingness and commitment to support the government’s thrust to utilize Sangley Airport. This is a solid demonstration of their trust and confidence in the administration of President Duterte,” Tugade said.

The DOTr said airline companies will sign a pledge of commitment and support on June 24, 2019 as a manifestation of cooperation with the government’s initiative.

At the meeting on Thursday, Tugade was joined by Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General Jim Sydiongco, Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla, Michael Tan of Philippine Airlines, Lance Gokongwei of Cebu Pacific, and Capt. Dexter Comendador of AirAsia.

Tugade earlier ordered the 24/7 construction of the Sangley Airport to meet the operational timeline set by President Rodrigo Duterte in decongesting NAIA.

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Tugade allays flooding concerns amid construction of Sangley Airport

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, June 14th, 2019

File photo: DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday allayed fears of flooding amid the ongoing construction of the Sangley Airport in Cavite.

During an inspection led by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade at the construction site, he said there was no trace of flooding in the area despite rains that occurred overnight.

“Umulan ng malakas kagabi hanggang kaninang madaling araw, pero kita niyo naman, walang baha dito sa airport,” Tugade said in a statement posted on Facebook.

IN PHOTOS: DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade led the inspection on the construction progress of Sangley Airport in Cavite…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Thursday, 13 June 2019

He also assured that the airport development will continue despite inconveniences to meet the operational timeline set by President Rodrigo Duterte.

READ: DOTr orders 24/7 construction of Sangley airport

Tugade earlier ordered the 24/7 construction of Sangley Airport to expedite the transfer of domestic flights to reduce congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“Let us not see shadows when there is no sun. If we are all to answer the ‘perhaps’ and the ‘maybes,’ nothing will happen in this country,” he said.

“We should not stop development simply because we are afraid of future inconveniences. Bear in mind that the price of development is an inconvenience,” he added.

During Friday’s inspection, Tugade checked the completed asphalt overlay of the runway, as well as the ongoing construction of the Passenger Terminal Building (PTB), the drainage system, and the hangars.

He also inspected an area for the landing berth of the ferry operations.

The DOTr reported that the construction of additional facilities at the Sangley Airport, which started last year and is now at 48.68% completion rate.

The inspection was conducted in collaboration with the Philippine Air Force and the Philippine Navy.

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