Authorities nab over 170 vehicles in anti-colorum operations in Metro Manila

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 5, 2020   •   585

Over 170 vehicles were apprehended during the one-time big-time anti-colorum operations of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG), Land Transportation and Franchising Board (LTFRB) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The operation was conducted in 15 areas in Metro Manila on Tuesday evening (February 4).

According HPG Director PBGen. Eliseo Cruz, it was carried out under the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte and Philippine National Police Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa.

“[There was] cooperation [with the] LTO [and] HPG to train our personnel [so] eventually our HPG personnel will deputize with the LTO, to implement to enforce traffic law and regulation,” he said.

Apprehended vehicles include those with no plate number and those using unauthorized blinkers. Authorities also apprehended overloaded trucks.

Among the over 300 trucks inspected, 78 of them were overloaded. Meanwhile, 68 vehicles received temporary operations permit due to various violations including not wearing a helmet or seatbelt.—AAC (with reports from Bernard Dadis)

Metro Manila may revert to ECQ if COVID-19 situation worsens — Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   July 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Metro Manila may return to stricter enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) if the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation worsens in the capital region.

In a televised press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government may possibly reimpose ECQ on Metro Manila if hospitals in the region hit maximum capacity due to surge in COVID-19 cases.

“Pag lumala talaga, at mawalan tayo ng critical care capacity o di kaya ay case doubling rate ay bumalik sa dati na napakabilis, wala po tayong alternatibo,” he said.

“Yun nga po ang pinapakiusap sa ating kababayan, pag tayo bumalik sa mas estriktong quarantine, baka wala na po tayong hanapbuhay na pwedeng gawin,” he added.

Roque issued the statement after the country recorded a record-high 2,434 additional cases on Sunday, bringing the total cases to 44,254. Most of these infections were reported in Metro Manila.

Metro Manila is currently under general community quarantine where public transport and some business sectors have been allowed to resume operations at a limited capacity.

It was previously placed under ECQ for more than two months.

The Department of Health earlier said that the spike in infections was due to increased physical contact of the public following the easing of quarantine restrictions.

But Roque said the government had no choice but to loosen the quarantine measures in order to revitalize the economy.

“Wala naman tayong alternatibo kundi magbukas ng ekonomiya… Kung di pa po natin mabubuksan, mamya buhay nga tayo, mamatay naman tayo dahil wala tayong hanapbuhay,” he said.

The Palace official, meanwhile, belied reports that hospitals in Metro Manila have reached full capacity amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Roque said that as of July 5, Metro Manila’s critical care utilization is still at 63 percent or moderate risk level.

He also clarified that many hospitals have yet to breach the 30 percent hospital bed capacity for coronavirus patients.

“Nililinaw po namin na yung mga kumakalat na fake news na ubos na raw po ang hospital beds sa ating mga ospital, di po yan totoo,” he said.

Roque also revealed that Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega has been designated to head the Hospital One Incident Command which will determine the critical care utilization and hospital care capacity rate. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

MRT-3 to operate at reduced capacity as COVID-19 cases in depot rise to 127

Maris Federez   •   July 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The MRT management will limit the number of trains in operation starting July 6.

This after a number of its personnel tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), bringing the total of positive cases to 127, a Department of Transportation (DOTr) advisory said.

Initial report said the 127 cases consist of 124 Sumitomo Depot personnel and 3 MRT-3 Depot personnel who will be placed under mandatory quarantine and medication.

DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said that with the guidance of the IATF-EID and upon the advice of Sumitomo-MHI, MRT-3 will be able to continue operations, with the possibility of reducing capacity or with fewer trains.

“Sumitomo requested to discuss on a day-by-day basis the level of operations that they can sustain as results of the mass swab testing continue to be released. In the meantime, Sumitomo advised that they are able to continue with operations to service MRT-3’s tens of thousands of passengers, although at a reduced level,” said Usec Batan.

“While we try to do our best to keep the same maintenance performance through this week, we would like to discuss with DOTr MRT3 office day by day, how much maintenance level we would be able to keep, in view of the number of COVID-19 infected people,” said Masanori Honda of Sumitomo.

The advisory also said that “to augment MRT-3’s further reduced capacity due to the quarantine of some of its depot personnel, DOTr will be boosting its Bus Augmentation Program and EDSA Busway service, in coordination with the DOTr Road Sector, LTFRB, and MMDA.”

“Per guidance of the IATF-EID, additional measures and precautions will be taken during MRT-3’s reduced operations, including requiring full PPE for stations and depot personnel, limiting movement of depot personnel to their immediate areas of responsibility, increased disinfection activities, and heightened monitoring and screening of symptoms among all personnel,” the advisory further read.

Meanwhile, MRT reminds the public that it will suspend operation on July 4 and 5 to give way to their rail replacement activities. —(with details from Joan Nano) /mbmf

Traditional jeepneys back on Metro Manila roads July 3

Marje Pelayo   •   July 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines  — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has finally given traditional jeepneys the green light to partially resume operations in Metro Manila starting Friday (July 3).

Under LTFRB Memorandum Circular 2020-026, traditional public utility jeepneys (PUJ) will be allowed in 49 selected routes in the National Capital Region (NCR) throughout implementation of the general community quarantine (GCQ). 

Each unit will have a corresponding QR code on display in lieu of a special permit. 

Operators are advised to secure said QR Code through the LTFRB website at www.ltfrb.gov.ph.

Only PUJS that are registered ‘roadworthy’ and with valid Personal Passenger Insurance Policy will be allowed to operate.

Likewise, no fare increase will be applied unless approved by the Board and the existing fare of P9.00 for the first four kilometers and P1.50 for succeeding kilometer(s) should be followed. 

Drivers and operators are still required to comply with a series of health safety measures, such as checking of body temperature, wearing masks and gloves at all times, and operating at a maximum of 50% capacity to make sure physical distancing is observed. 

A fare dropbox is encouraged to limit personal contact with passengers. 

Also, passengers are required to fill out passenger contact forms for contact tracing purposes and should wear masks at all times.

LIST of approved PUJ routes starting July 3:

  • T102 Camarin – Novaliches;
  • T103 Karuhatan – Ugong;
  • T104 Malabon – Monumento via Letre;
  • T105 Malabon (TP) – Navotas (TP);
  • T107 Monumento – Navotas via Letre;
  • T205 Cubao – Proj. 4 via JP Rizal;
  • T206 Cubao – San Juan via N. Domingo;
  • T208 IBP Road – Lupang Pangako via Gravel Pit Road;
  • T209 Marikina – Pasig;
  • T210 Pantranco – Proj. 2 & 3 via Kamuning;
  • T211 Proj. 2 & 3 – Q Mart;
  • T212 Sucat-Highway – Bagumbayan;
  • T213 Ayala – Pateros via JP Rizal;
  • T215 Marikina – Pateros via Pasig;
  • T301 A. Boni – A. Mabini via 10th Ave.;
  • T302 A. Bonifacio – D Tuazon/E. Rodriguez Ave.;
  • T303 A. Rivera – Raon via Severino Reyes;
  • T305 Ayala – Mantrade via Pasong Tamo;
  • T306 Ayala – Washington;
  • T309 Balic-Balic – Quiapo via Lepanto;
  • T310 Balic-Balic – Bustillos via G. Tuazon;
  • T311 Balic-Balic – Espana/M. Dela Fuente;
  • T312 Balintawak – Frisco;
  • T313 Balut – Blumentritt;
  • T314 Blumentritt – North Harbor via Divisoria;
  • T316 Boni – Kalentong JRC via Boni Avenue;
  • T317 Dian – Libertad;
  • T318 Divisoria – Gastambide via Morayta;
  • T320 Divisoria – Pier North via Plaza Moriones;
  • T321 Divisoria – Quiapo via Evangelista;
  • T322 Evangelista – Libertad;
  • T323 Divisoria – Velasquez;
  • T324 Guadalupe Market – L. Guinto via Pasig Line;
  • T326 L. Guinto – Sta. Ana;
  • T327 Herbosa/Pritil – P. Guevarra via Tayuman;
  • T328 Kalentong/JRC – P. Victorino via P. Cruz;
  • T330 Divisoria – Sta. Cruz via San Nicolas;
  • T331 Kayamanan C – PRC via Pasong Tamo;
  • T332 L. Guinto – Zobel Roxas via Paco;
  • T333 Lardizabal – Rizal Ave. via M. Dela Fuente;
  • T334 Lealtad – Quiapo (Barbosa) via Lepanto;
  • T335 Kalentong/JRC – Libertad (Mandaluyong) Nueve de Pebrero;
  • T336 Kalentong/JRC – Namayan via Vergara;
  • T338 North Harbor – Quiapo via Evangelista;
  • T340 P. Faura – San Andres;
  • T343 Quezon Ave. – Sta. Mesa Market via Araneta Avenue;
  • T344 Crame – San Juan via Pinaglabanan;
  • T401 Alabang – Sucat via M.L. Quezon; and
  • T402 Soldiers Hill (Phase IV) – Talon via Alvarez

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