125,000 Beep cards to be given away free to EDSA Busway commuters

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 6, 2020   •   493

AF Payments Inc. (AFPI), the operator of Beep card, will be giving away 125,000 free cards to EDSA Busway commuters who cannot afford one.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr), in a statement, lauded AFPI for its decision to give commuters free Beep cards until a QR-based electronic ticketing system becomes operational.

“We thank AFPI for seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and for considering the plight of our commuters who have just started to rebuild back their lives after a series of strict quarantine measures that put pressure both on their social lives and livelihoods. For them, every centavo counts,” the statement read.

The decision comes after the suspension of the ‘No Beep Card, No Entry’ policy which was first implemented last October 1.

Meanwhile, the Transportation Department said they are also reviewing the possible implementation of the QR code-based electronic ticketing system on the EDSA Busway.

“With the use of a smartphone app and/or through online, passengers of vessels can now buy virtual tickets. As this is a contactless technology, commuters are best assured of proper social distancing needed to prevent transmission of the coronavirus,” the DOTr said. AAC

DOTr suspends inauguration of LRT-2 East extension due to new COVID-19 restrictions

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has suspended the inauguration of the LRT-2 East Extension Project from its original schedule on April 26 and set it to a much later date of June 23, 2021.

In a statement, the department said the adjustment is due to the new COVID-19 restrictions and to protect the health and safety of rail workers and the riding public.

DOTr Undersecretary for Railways TJ Batan also reported that foreign rail experts who are necessary for the final stages of installation, testing, and commissioning works for the project have been unable to report for work or enter the Philippines due to stringent restrictions being enforced.

“As much as we would like to open the project earlier, kailangan pong unahin ang kalusugan at kapakanan ng ating mga rail workers at mananakay (we need to prioritize the health and well-being of our rail workers and passengers),he said.

LRT-2’s new stations, the Marikina Station and Antipolo Station will serve commuters from Recto, Manila going to Masinag, Antipolo, and back.

According to the DOTr, “the project is expected to cut travel time between Manila and Antipolo from the previous three (3) hours by bus or jeepney, to only 40 minutes.” AAC

DOTr warns vs fake Sec. Tugade Facebook account

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 16, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Transportation (DOTr) clarified in a statement on Thursday that the Facebook page/account bearing the name Sec Art Tugade does not belong to the transportation chief.

“Please be informed that Secretary Tugade *DOES NOT HAVE A PERSONAL FACEBOOK PAGE or ACCOUNT*, and is *NOT* involved in creating, managing, and handling the said page or other similar accounts,” the department stressed.

“Anything related to Secretary Tugade in his function and designation as Cabinet Secretary, and head of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is posted *ONLY* in the *OFFICIAL* DOTr social media accounts,” the DOTr added.

The agency also encouraged the public to immediately report to the DOTr any suspicious activity involving this unauthorized account, or any similar accounts for that matter. AAC

Around 1,000 repatriated seafarers from Norwegian cruise ship arrive home

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation  (DOTr) reported on Tuesday that around 1,000 Filipino crew members aboard a Norwegian cruise ship arrived in the Philippines on Sunday (April 11).

The DOTr and its marine sector facilitated the arrival of approximately 1000 Filipino crew members aboard the MV “Norwegian Encore” at the Port of Manila.

The repatriated Filipino seafarers underwent profiling from the Department of Health and will undergo the mandatory quarantine and testing protocols set by the national government.

The said vessel will be used as the quarantine facility under the strict supervision of the Bureau of Quarantine.

The seafarers shall also undergo swab testing on the sixth day of their quarantine proper. Expenses for the swab tests will be subsidized through the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.

“The Philippines, having positioned itself as a crew change capital in the world through the DOTr and its maritime sector, commits to provide world-class services to international vessels needing fresh crew onboard amid the pandemic,” the DOTr said. -AAC

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