Students to get free train rides, airport and seaport terminal fees — DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   June 27, 2019   •   5923

The Department of Transportation on Thursday (June 27) announced that students would get free rides from railway lines operated by the government, and exemption from terminal fees in seaports and airports across the country.

In a Facebook post, the DOTr said that students will get to enjoy free rides in Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3), Light Rail Transit line 2 (LRT-2) and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) at select hours from Monday to Friday except on holidays.

MAGANDANG BALITA!Tuluy-tuloy ang pagpapadama ng Kagawaran ng Transportasyon at ng mga attached agency nito ng PUSO at…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Wednesday, 26 June 2019

The DOTr said free rides will start on July 1 on the following train schedules:

MRT-3

5 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

LRT-2

4:30 a.m. to 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4:40 p.m. 

PNR

5 a.m. to 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“Bakit nga ba binibigyan natin ng oras ang libreng pamasahe? Dahil hinihikayat nating pumasok ng maaga sa paaralan ang mga estudyante kapalit nyan ay libreng pamasahe,” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said.

Tugade said that for now, students only need to show their school identification cards to avail of the free rides and terminal fee exemption.

“Starting July 1, kailangan lang magpakita ng Student ID. Maglalagay din po tayo ng special lane para mas maayos po ang implementasyon nito,” he said.

But in the succeeding days, students will have to apply for a free ride ID by filling up a form which can be downloaded from the website of DOTr and its attached agencies.

Students may claim the free ride IDs from Malasakit Help desks situated in train stations.

Students will also get exemptions from paying terminal fees when flying in any airport operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and seaports under the Philippine Ports Authority.

This is expected to take effect in the coming months after the policy’s implementing rules are cascaded to 114 ports across the country.

Apart from students, the DOTr said senior citizens, persons with disabilities and selected uniform personnel who are in active military and coast guard service will also get to enjoy seaport and airport terminal fee exemption.

The agency said this initiative is part of the government’s efforts to provide Filipinos comfortable lives.

“Patunay po ito ng patuloy na pagmamalasakit ng Kagawaran ng Transportasyon at ng mga kaugnay nitong ahensyang MRT-3, LRTA, PNR, CAAP at PPA, upang bigyan ng komportableng buhay ang mga Pilipino, gaya ng hangad ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte,” the DOTr said.

Several senators laud signing of Anti-Terror Act despite oppositions

Robie de Guzman   •   July 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Several senators have lauded President Rodrigo Duterte for signing the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 despite oppositions coming from different sectors.

“Much credit goes to PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte). With all the pressure coming from different directions against the signing of the Anti-Terrorism Bill into law, at the end of the day, it is his strong political will that mattered the most,” Senator Panfilo Lacson said in a statement Friday.

“I cannot imagine this measure being signed under another administration. If only for this, I take my hat off to the president,” he added.

Lacson, one of the principal authors and sponsor of the measure in the Senate, vowed that he would “exert extra effort in guarding against possible abuse in its implementation, notwithstanding all the safeguards incorporated in this landmark legislation.”

Senate President Vicente Sotto III also expressed elation over the enactment of the controversial bill.

“I am glad that the president has sifted through the rubble and saw the importance of the law!” he said in a message to reporters.

Senator Francis Tolentino also called the signing of the law as “very timely” and “historic” as the nation needed the measure.

“It just goes to show that a stable peace and order climate should go hand [in hand] with economic rejuvenation post COVID-19,” he added.

The new law repeals the Human Security Act of 2007 and penalizes those who will propose, incite, conspire, participate in the planning, training, preparation and facilitation of a terrorist act; as well as those who will provide material support to terrorists, and recruit members in a terrorist organization.

The measure allows suspected terrorists to be detained for up to 24 days without warrant. It also authorizes the Anti-Money Laundering Council to freeze the assets and accounts of individuals or groups tagged as terrorists.

Before it was enacted, the bill was met with widespread opposition from different groups who raised concern over its provisions that could be abused by authorities, stifle dissent and spur human rights violations.

But Sotto said the law has enough safeguards to prevent enforcers from abusing their authority.

“It’s full of safeguards but strong against terrorists. Unlike the old law, it was subject to abuse by the terrorists,” Sotto said.

Lacson has repeatedly defended the measure, saying it has enough protection to ensure the rights of those detained.

Duterte signs Anti-Terrorism bill into law

Robie de Guzman   •   July 3, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law the proposed Anti-Terrorism bill, Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that the president signed the measure on Friday, July 3.

The Republic Act No. 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 repeals the Human Security Act of 2007 and penalizes those who will propose, incite, conspire, participate in the planning, training, preparation and facilitation of a terrorist act; as well as those who will provide material support to terrorists, and recruit members in a terrorist organization.

Under the measure, anyone who threatens to commit terrorism, propose any terroristic acts or incite others to commit terrorism shall mete out a penalty of 12 years of imprisonment.

It also seeks to provide law enforcers the much-needed tools to protect the people from terrorism threat and, at the same time, safeguard the rights of those accused of the crime.

The measure was signed into law despite intense opposition from several sectors questioning its provisions, particularly the period of detention for suspected terrorists without judicial warrant, saying this may be abused by the authorities.

Roque said the piece of legislation underwent thorough study before it was enacted by the president.

“As we have said, the President, together with his legal team, took time to study this piece of legislation weighing the concerns of different stakeholders,” he said.

“The signing of the aforesaid law demonstrates our serious commitment to stamp out terrorism, which has long plagued the country and has caused unimaginable grief and horror to many of our people,” he added.

Duterte to meet police, military in Zamboanga City – Roque

Robie de Guzman   •   July 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte will fly to Zamboanga City on Friday to meet with the officials and members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the wake of a shooting incident that killed four soldiers in Jolo, Sulu.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the president will meet separately with members of the police and military to ensure that the shooting incident between cops and soldiers will not happen again.

The commander-in-chief will also try to ease the tensions between the two security forces, and lift the morale of its members following the incident, which, according to Roque had “saddened” the president.

“Andoon po ang president para magbigay ng assurance na makakamit po ang katarungan, kung mayroong nagkasala, mapaparusahan po,” Roque said.

“Andoon po siya para i-lift ang morale ng mga sundalo, ng mga pulis dahil kung may pagkakamali po yan, pwede naman pong iwasto yan at sisiguraduhin po niya na ito na po ang huling insidente na gaya nito sa kaniyang administrasyon,” he added.

On June 29, four soldiers were fatally shot by police officers some meters away from the Jolo police station.

Police said the military officers attempted to escape and opened fire at them while on their way to police station for identity verification. However, the Philippine Army disputed this claim, saying the soldiers did not try to flee and never fired a single shot towards police officers.

The nine police officers involved in the incident, as well as the chief of Jolo police station have been relieved from their posts pending investigation.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año earlier said that aside from talking to police and military commanders, Duterte would also like to meet with the nine police officers involved in the incident. He has also ordered for the National Bureau of Investigation to expedite the release of its probe findings.

This is the first time that the president will visit police and military camps in the country since the coronavirus disease pandemic started.

Roque said Duterte insisted on the trip despite the threat of the viral respiratory disease and the Presidential Security Group’s appeal to delay his visit to the camp.

“Di na po mapigilan ang president, kung masusunod po ang PSG, ayaw po siyang palabasin talaga ng Bahay Pangarap,” Roque said.

“Pero sabi ng presidente, ako pa rin ang President at kung mayroon pa ring kinakailangang talagang gawin, gagawin niya so he’s risking his life by going to Zamboanga, pero ganuon po ka-importante ang misyon niya,” he added. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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