Sangley Airport inauguration set for February 15

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 13, 2020   •   652

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has announced the inauguration of Sangley Airport in Cavite which is set for Saturday (February 15).

According to DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, the dry-run operations last October 2019 was a success. He also said that because of the 24/7 construction, they were able to meet President Rodrigo Duterte’s November 2019 deadline.

Sangley Airport is one of the alternatives seen to help decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Metro Manila.

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the use of Sangley Airport in June 2019 due to mounting frustrations over flight delays at NAIA.—AAC

One-meter physical distancing will be observed in public transport — Duterte

Maris Federez   •   September 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has decided that the one-meter distance between passengers in public transport must be observed, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced Saturday.

“Mananatili po ang one-meter distancing sa pampublikong transportasyon,” Roque said through state-run PTV4.

He added though that talking inside public transport vehicles is still not allowed and that the minimum health protocol such as wearing of face masks and face shields shall remain.

“Sasamahan din ng pagsuot ng face mask at face shield,” he said.  “Bawal ang magsalita sa mga pampublikong transportasyon.”

The Palace spokesperson said the president made the decision on Friday night amid opposing opinions of medical experts on the matter..

The Department of Transportation has allowed the public transport system in the country to implement a “reduced physical distancing” policy starting Monday, September 14.

From the previous one-meter physical distancing marker between passengers, it was reduced to .75-meter safe distance.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) said it approved the proposal to provide service to the increasing number of passengers brought about by the reopening of more businesses.

The proposal provide for a further reduction of physical distancing to 0.5 meters after two weeks, and to 0.3 meters after another two weeks.

Read: DOTr reduces physical distancing markers in public transport

A panel of doctors has expressed support for the gradual reduction of physical distancing inside public transportation vehicles.

The medical experts, which include former Department of Health Secretaries Manuel Dayrit and Esperanza Cabral, said that while the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends keeping a distance of one meter from other passengers to the extent possible, “it allows for adjustments based on context.”

Read: Group of medical experts back reduced distancing policy in public transport

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año, however, said the DOTr released the operational guidelines on reduced physical distancing in public transport without consulting health experts and the Metro Manila local government units. — /mbmf

Pagpapaikli sa distansya ng mga pasahero sa public transport, sinuspindi ng DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   September 17, 2020

MANILA, Philipines – Sinuspindi muna ng Department of Transportation (DOTr) ang pagpapatupad sa polisiya na nagpapaikli sa distansya sa pagitan ng mga pasahero upang mapataas sana ang ridership o bilang ng mga maaaring isakay sa mga pampublikong sasakyan.

Ayon kay Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, balik muna sa one-meter physical distancing ang mga pasahero dahil wala pang pinal na desisyon si Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte kaugnay ng isyu.

Ani Roque, inanunsiyo ito ni Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade nang magpulong ang mga miyembro ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) ngayong Huwebes.

“Pansamantalang isususpinde po ang implementasyon ng 0.75 [meter] na distancing sa mga pampublikong transportasyon at ibabalik po ito sa sa one meter,” ang wika ni Roque sa isang televised press briefing.

Dagdag pa ng opisyal, pag-aaralan pa ng Pangulo ang isusumiteng ulat ng IATF ukol sa naging talakayan at rekomendasyon hinggil sa polisiya.

Maaari aniyang ilabas ng punong ehekutibo ang kanyang pasya sa isyu sa susunod na linggo.

Sa ilalim ng panuntunan na inilabas ng DOTr noong nakaraang linggo, ang kasalukuyang one-meter distance ng mga pasahero ay paiikliin sana sa 0.75 meters simula Setyembre 14. Muli itong babawasan pagkatapos ng dalawang linggo.

Hati naman ang pananaw ng iba’t ibang sektor sa nasabing polisiya.

May grupo ng mga manggagamot na nagsasabing mapanganib ito sa kalusugan ng publiko sa gitna ng banta ng COVID-19 habang may iba namang pabor na bawasan ang itinatakdang agwat ng physical distancing.

Kabilang sa mga sumusuporta sa polisiyang ito ang dating kalihim ng Department of Health na si Manuel Dayrit.

Ayon kay Dayrit, maaari namang bawasan ang agwat ng mga pasahero sa loob ng pampublikong sasakyan ngunit kailangang matiyak na nasusunod ang mga inilatag na health protocols upang huwag mahawa sa virus.

Kabilang sa health protocols ang pagsusuot ng face masks, face shields at pagbabawal sa pagsasalita at pagkain ng mga pasahero habang nasa biyahe. Dapat rin aniya ay may sapat na bentilasyon ang sasakyan, malinis at bawal sumakay ang mga pasaherong asymptomatic.

“We have to take this as a full package. Hindi lang physical distancing ang issue dito, if you just argue by physical distancing, you’re missing out other interventions that we could use and also we are only doing it sa ating public transport so that our people can move so that the economy can open,” ang wika ni Dayrit.

Ang dating special consultant ng National Task Force na si Dr. Anthony Leachon, tutol naman sa reduced physical distancing sa public transport dahil hindi aniya dapat naisasakripisyo ang health standards sa pagbubukas ng ekonomiya ng bansa.

Hinimok din niya si Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, maging ang medical community, na payuhan si Pangulong Duterte sa mga paraan para sa ligtas na pagpapasigla sa ekonomiya sa kabila ng pandemiya.

 “Finally, it’s the right thing to do. PRRD should be advised by Sec. Duque and the medical community. We can reopen the economy and support public transport without sacrificing health standards especially social distancing measures,” ang pahayag ni Leachon. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

IATF approves implementation of service contracting of PUVs

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 15, 2020

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) approved the implementation of service contracting of public utility vehicles (PUVs).

Proposed by the Economic Development Cluster (EDC) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the service contracting scheme for public transport aims to subsidize public transport operations, incentivize PUV operators to return and serve commuters, and restore the livelihood of displaced transport workers, among others.

“The proposed stimulus bill has allocated budget to carry out a more financially-viable contracting scheme that will better benefit operators of public transportation units, the commuting public, and the overall public transport sector,” the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said.

IATF GIVES GO SIGNAL TO EDC, DOTr-BACKED SERVICE CONTRACTING SCHEME FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORTIn a bid to further contain…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Sunday, September 13, 2020

The measure will soon be implemented with the signing of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or the “Bayanihan 2” bill into law.

DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Steve Pastor said the measure will not only help operators and drivers with their livelihood but it can also help in limiting the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“We are pushing for the use of service contracting as these would allow for efficiency of travel and the reduction of transmission,” he said. AAC

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