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

Robie de Guzman   •   June 27, 2019   •   5336

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.

Duterte names former House Speaker Belmonte special envoy to Japan

Robie de Guzman   •   October 16, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte (L) raises the hand of former House Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte in an undated photo that was released on May 10, 2019.

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has named former House Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte as Special Envoy to Japan.

Based on a document from Malacañang released on Wednesday, Belmonte was appointed as special envoy to Japan for trade and market access.

Belmonte was appointed by Duterte on Oct. 15, Tuesday.

He served as Representative of the 4th District of Quezon City for three terms, and was elected as House speaker of the 15th and 16th Congress during the time of former presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III, respectively.

Belmonte was Liberal Party’s former vice chairman before he resigned in September last year. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

First set of Dalian trains to hit MRT-3 tracks Tuesday

Robie de Guzman   •   October 15, 2019

The third set of MRT-3 trains that were purchased from Chinese firm CCRC Dalian

MANILA, Philippines – The first set of China-made Dalian trains will be deployed at the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) on Tuesday night, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced.

“Starting today, 15 October 2019, one Dalian train set (equivalent to three train coaches) will hit the tracks of MRT-3 mainline during evening off-peak hours, from 8:30PM to 10:30PM,” the DOTr said in a statement posted on Twitter.

The DOTr said this development comes after MRT-3’s Japanese maintenance provider, Sumitomo Corporation-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries – TES Philippines signed a consent for the limited deployment on one Dalian train set.

The said consent, according to the DOTr, indicates that the train set will be deployed for an initial trial period until the maintenance provider begins its rail replacement works in November 2019.

“Currently, three Dalian train (9 train coaches) sets have already completed the necessary commissioning and validation tests including the 150-hour run. Each Dalian train set has a three-car configuration that can carry 1,050 passengers per trip,” the DOTr said.

Each train set can carry up to 1,050 passengers.

Around 48 Dalian trains were purchased by the Aquino administration for P3.8 billion but most of it have not been used over doubts of its compatibility with the current MRT tracks.

Its deployment was delayed as the MRT-3 management had to wait for the consent of Sumitomo Corp. which maintains and rehabilitates the line.

Duterte on ‘ninja cops’ case linking Albayalde: ‘Give me clear proof’

Robie de Guzman   •   October 7, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech upon his arrival at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City on October 6, 2019 following his successful official visit to the Russian Federation. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday stressed the importance of following the due process in the ‘ninja cops’ issue, which allegedly involves several policemen, including the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), General Oscar Albayalde.

Duterte made the statement amid calls for Albayalde to resign over his purported link to illegal drugs.

Eh kung mga ‘yung criminal binibigyan mo ng (Even criminals are given) presumption of innocence. You know, Albayalde is the PNP chief. Give me a clear proof that he was there on the take or was in the trafficking of drugs. Just because he was the… Tapos may tinawagan siya (he called someone),” he said after his arrival from Russia.

“I could not just do it in a knee jerk. I have to follow procedural due process and allow him time to answer,” he added. “The right to be heard – it’s given to criminals, to kidnappers. It should be given to a general of the Philippine National Police.”

When asked if he still trusts Albayalde, Duterte replied with: “Well, he is still there.  Otherwise, I would have you know just — I would have told him to just go out.”

The issue on ‘ninja cops’ was revived when Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino bared during a 2020 budget hearing about the continued activities of ‘ninja cops’ and their link to so-called Manila ‘drug queen,’ later identified as former village chief Guia Gomez Castro.

Albayalde’s name was dragged into the issue after former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief and now Baguio City mayor Benjamin Magalong mentioned a controversial 2013 anti-drug operation carried out by cops under Albayalde who was then the head of Pampanga police provincial office.

Albayalde was relieved from his post in 2014 for command responsibility while the involved operatives were charged and ordered dismissed.

The dismissal order, however, was not implemented as the police officers were only demoted in 2017.

Aquino, who was then the chief of Central Luzon Regional Police Office, claimed Albayalde called him to ask not to enforce the dismissal order against the 13 cops.

The PNP chief has repeatedly denied the allegation. He insisted during a Senate hearing that he only called then Central Luzon Regional police director Aquino in 2016 to ask about the status of his former men’s case.

Duterte earlier said he will wait for the Senate and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to end their respective probes on the case of the so-called ‘ninja cops’ before deciding what action to take.RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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