Sen. Binay challenges DOTr officials to commute to come up with better plans

Marje Pelayo   •   June 3, 2020   •   298

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Nancy Binay on Tuesday challenged Transportation officials to take public transport going to work so they can experience firsthand the daily struggles of commuters

This was after hundreds of commuters were stranded on the first day of the implementation of general community quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila and other areas as part of the national government’s decision to ease restrictions amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Binay insists that Transport officials must also experience the hardship of commuting to be able to understand the situation and come up with a more reasonable plan to help the riding public. 

“Mabuti sila’t aircon ang mga sasakyan. Kung subukan kaya ng mga opisyal ng DOTr mag-commute papasok sa opisina? Dapat maramdaman nila ang hirap ng mga commuter, [Good for them that they have personal vehicles with air-conditioning, but would DOTr officials dare to commute to work? They should experience the hardships of commuters],” Binay said.

“They won’t be able to plan well if they don’t understand the people’s daily struggles.”

The lady senator emphasized that transport officials shouldn’t make an ‘experiment’ out of Filipino workers who have been suffering for months due to the COVID-19 crisis.

“Hindi po lahat ay may kotse, may motorsiklo o bisikleta. Hindi lahat kayang maglakad ng ilang kilometro sa gitna ng baha at ulan, [Not all people have cars, motorbikes, or bicycles. Not all people are able to walk long distances in heavy rain and flood],” Binay said.

“Our workers and the commuting public don’t deserve this kind of treatment.” she added.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has yet to comment on the matter.

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MRT-3 to deploy 90 augmentation buses during suspended weekend operations

Marje Pelayo   •   July 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 90 bus units will be on standby at end terminals of Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) to ferry passengers who will be affected by the suspended weekend operations of the train system. 

The first trip will be at 5:30 am and the last trip will be at 8:00 pm from North Avenue to Taft Avenue station and vice versa.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) earlier announced the temporary suspension of weekend operations to facilitate the replacement and installation of new rails. 

READ: No MRT-3 operations in four weekends from July to September – DOtr

Maintenance works at the stations are expected to be completed by December 2020. MNP (with inputs from Joan Nano)

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Duterte tells DOTr to put more seats at NAIA

Marje Pelayo   •   July 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte expressed concern over the plight of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) crowding the premises of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

He has ordered Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to provide additional resting areas and chairs for waiting passengers.

In the past weeks, thousands of LSIs flocked the premises of NAIA hoping for their flights to proceed.

“Walang maupuan. Iilan lang ang upuan. Kapag may flights nagpatong-patong, ang iba nakatindig. What’s really worse is that mayroong restaurant sa labas na malaki,” the President told Tugade during the late night briefing on Tuesday (June 30).

(There are not enough seats. When there are flights, people would crowd and some are forced to stand. The worst part is, there’s a huge restaurant outside.)

Paalisin mo ang restaurant. Lagyan ng upuan kasi ang mga buntis, mga bata, walang upuan,” he added.

(Remove the restaurant. Put more seats because pregnant women and children have nowhere to sit.)

Meanwhile, the President asked Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año to provide for the needs of LSIs outside the airport premises. 

Gather all na naghihintay ng walang matulugan, walang matirhan at nandiyan sa labas ng NAIA,” he told Año.

(Gather all those who have no place to stay and are just staying outside of NAIA.)

“You will be transported to a place. I will pay. Just bill me [including food],” the President said. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Mini loop routes ng city buses, ipinatupad na ng DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   June 29, 2020

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MANILA, Philippines – Umarangkada na ngayong Lunes, Hunyo 29 ang mini loop routes ng city buses para makatulong sa pagbiyahe ng mga commuter.

Ayon sa Department of Transportation (DOTr), dalawa ang mini loop routes na binuksan ngayong araw: ang Monumento – MRT Quezon Avenue Station at PITX – Ayala Avenue.

Ang rutang Timog-Santolan naman ay sa Miyerkules, July 1 pa magsisimula.

Nakadugtong ang mga rutang ito sa bus augmentation ng Metro Rail Transit (MRT) line 3 na bumibiyahe sa EDSA sa pagitan ng North Avenue at Taft Avenue na binuksan ng DOTr noong June 1 kasabay ng paglipat ng Metro Manila sa general community quarantine.

“Marami kasi tayong mga commuter o mga pasahero na nag-express ng kanilang concern na wala silang masakyan from Monumento going to North Avenue or Quezon Avenue. Gayundin y’ong mga galing ng PITX papunta ng Ayala. So, ‘yon ang in-adress natin ngayon,” ani DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddess Hope Libiran.

Ayon sa kagawaran, 30 public bus units ang nakatalaga sa mga nabanggit na ruta.

Tiniyak naman ng DOTr na araw-araw ang gagawing assessment para matugunan ang pangangailangan ng mga commuter.

Alinsunod sa direktiba ng Inter-Agency Task Force, gradual o unti-unti ang pagbabalik ng operasyon ng mga pampublikong sasakyan. Una nang pinayagan ang limitadong operasyon sa itinakdang ruta ng point-to-point buses, transport network vehicle services at public utility buses. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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