Probe ordered on LRT-2 train crash

Marje Pelayo   •   May 20, 2019   •   2391

Damage from the LRT-2 collision | Photo by Ahya Lopez

MANILA, Philippines – The management of the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) has ordered the creation of a fact-finding committee that will investigate the train crash incident on Saturday (May 18).

More than 30 people were injured on Saturday evening after a train parked on the “pocket track” near Anonas Station moved on its own and headed toward the main railways eastbound to Cubao.

The train’s control center noticed the movement of the parked train and immediately notified the approaching train but it was too late for the latter to make a full stop.

Damage from the LRT-2 collision | Courtesy : LRT2 Facebook page

“For unknown reason, which is still the subject of further investigation through a fact-finding which is being instructed by the administrator, gumalaw ang supposedly na sira na tren,” said DOTr’s Undersecretary for Finance Garry de Guzman.

Operations in LRT Line 2 was temporarily suspended for safety check.

It was mid afternoon the next day, Sunday (May 19) when the LRT-2 services resumed.

The LRTA management and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) assured the public that what happened was an isolated case while measures were being set up to prevent a repeat of the incident in the future.

“Kung mababawasan ang mga tumatakbong LRT (trains), natural may epekto iyan,” Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade noted.

(If running trains will be reduced, that surely has an effect.)

“Pero sa ganyang management, titingnan lahat iyan para nang sa ganoon, ang epekto sa operasyon ay hindi unnecessarily wide and deep,” he added.

(With that kind of management, everything will be assessed so that the effects on the operation will not be unnecessarily wide and deep.)

LRTA is expected to issue an official statement on the exact cause of the incident after its investigation. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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.

3 vehicles impounded in intensified anti-colorum operations

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Three vehicles were impounded during an anti-colorum operation of the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (IACT) on Thursday (April 8).

Authorities conducted the operation in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan.

The three vehicles impounded were two shuttle vans and one jeepney – all operating illegally for not having special permits.

“The Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) is enhancing its anti-colorum activities as illegal transport activities pose health hazards and increased virus transmission during community quarantine season,” according to I-ACT.

Last week, an LTFRB-led operation had apprehended colorum vehicles and trucks which were used to transport civilians amid the travel restrictions imposed during the quarantine period.

Seventy-nine passengers of the said apprehended vehicles s were found out to be positive of the COVID-19 virus.

I-ACT said it will increase its road inspections especially its anti-colorum operations as a response to the increasing illegal transport activities in the region. -AAC

DOTr to heighten security against colorum vehicles

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said it will strengthen its security to apprehend colorum or unauthorized vehicles.

This was after a video went viral showing a closed van from Southern Tagalog illegally ferrying passengers out of Metro Manila.

DOTr Asec. Mark Steven Pastor said the department is alarmed by the report especially when there is a surge of cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Nakakalungkot po na ibalita sa inyo na sa kabila ng pagtaas ng bilang ng COVID-19 cases. May mga kababayan pa rin po tayong pumupuslit sa iligal na pamamaraan particular ho dito sa Bicol na pinipili pong sumakay ng colorum. Dahil nga po sa colorum, wala pong health screening, wala pong nagbabantay kung APOR [Authorized Person Outside of Residence] po sila (It is saddening news despite the rising COVID-19 cases. We have fellow Filipinos illegally travelling, especially in Bicol, there are passengers opting to board colorum with no health screenings and they are not monitored if they are APOR),” he said.

The department already identified the persons of interest in the said viral video and already sent a show-cause order to them.

Other law enforcers also apprehended other colorum vehicles transporting passengers in and out of Metro Manila.

The DOTr said proven violators will be meted out a fine ranging from P50,000 to P1 million. -AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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