DOTr boosts testing capacity in NAIA as OFWs return for the holidays

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 17, 2020   •   421

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has boosted its One-Stop-Shop as more overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) return home for the holidays.

DOTr’s Office for the Transportation Security (OTS) Administrator Usec. Raul Del Rosario said this is to prevent the previous inconvenience caused by delayed COVID-19 test results.

Based on the OTS data, an estimated 5,000 OFWs arrive in the Philippines every day during the holidays.

Del Rosario also said additional Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel were deployed.

The One-Stop-Shop partnered with four COVID-testing laboratories to accommodate more OFWs.

Nagkaroon kami ng commitment among these laboratories, nag-commit sila na 24 hours ilalabas nila ang result at walang lalagpas ng 48 hours (We had a commitment among these laboratories. They committed to release the results in 24 hours and not exceeding 48 hours),” he said.

The One-Stop-Shop can process 10,000 swab tests per day, Del Rosario added.

Aside from the laboratories, there are also 21,000 slots available in hotels where OFWs can stay while waiting for their COVID-19 test results. -AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

Pasay City mayor open to possible city-wide ECQ to curb rising COVID-19 cases

Robie de Guzman   •   March 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Pasay City Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano on Thursday said she will not object should the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) decide to place the entire city under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) due to the rise in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.

In an online media briefing, Rubiano said the city government is doing its best to contain the surge in COVID-19 cases.

She added that they have already looked into the idea of placing the city under ECQ upon learning of the detection of the more contagious COVID-19 variant, initially reported in South Africa in Pasay.

Rubiano, however, noted that placing Pasay City under ECQ will have an impact on the entire National Capital Region since the city is considered as a travel hub.

“Ang impact kasi ay nasa entire NCR dahil nakita niyo po at siyempre sa country na rin dahil nandidito po sa amin ang airport, MRT, LRT,” she said.

“Travel hub po kami at yung domestic air travel will be cancelled while international travel will be restricted,” she added.

Meanwhile, Rubiano confirmed that four residents of Pasay have tested positive for the new COVID-19 variant but all of them have already recovered.

The mayor also said that the patients were under quarantine when results of their tests came out.

“Yes po, recovered na pero inuulit po namin ang kanilang swab nang makasigurado po tayo. Na-isolate po namin agad sila pati po na-contact trace,” she said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Janice Ingente)

LRT-2 East Extension to start ops in April 2021 – DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   March 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Two additional stations of the Light Rail Transit line 2 (LRT-2) East Extension project will begin operations in the latter part of April this year, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced on Thursday.

In a statement, the DOTr said the two LRT-2 East Extension stations are the Marikina Station (in front of the Sta. Lucia mall and Robinsons) and the Antipolo Station (in front of SM Masinag).

These stations will start operations on April 27 after a soft opening to be held a day before.

The two new stations will serve commuters from Recto, Manila going to Masinag, Antipolo, and back.

Travel time from Recto to Masinag will be just around 40 minutes.

As of January 31, 2021, the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) reported that the LRT-2 East Extension Project is already 93.42% complete.

“In less than two months po, mag-ooperate na po ‘yung ating dalawang bagong istasyon,” LRTA Spokesperson Atty. Hernando Cabrera said.

Once completed, the LRT-2 East Extension can accommodate an additional 80,000 passengers daily, boosting the entire rail line’s current daily ridership to 240,000 passengers.

Cabrera said that the Package 1 of the project, which involves the construction of the eastbound and westbound viaducts, has been finished.

The Package 2, which involves the design and construction of stations, is also substantially complete.

Meanwhile, works are ongoing for the Package 3, which covers the project’s electro-mechanical system, rails, power supply, telecommunications, and signaling system.

Cabrera said that the rail line’s electro-mechanical works are being fast-tracked to meet the target date of the project’s April 2021 inauguration.

“Ongoing po ngayon ‘yan at pina-fast track na po natin ‘yung trabaho natin diyan para matupad po natin ‘yung target na April 26 inauguration,” he said.

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to arrive on March 4

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility are set to arrive on Thursday night (March 4), according to Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go.

In a statement, Go said President Rodrigo Duterte will personally witness the arrival of the said vaccines. Go added that medical frontliners will now have the option to choose the brand of COVID-19 vaccine they want to receive.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. also confirmed it’s arrival, further explaining that the shipment is part of the first round of allocated doses from the COVAX facility.

The vaccines were initially scheduled to arrive on March 1 but was delayed due to “supply problems.”

Go, meanwhile, hopes for the continuous rollout of the country’s vaccination program and encouraged the public to register for vaccination.

Sana po ay tuloy-tuloy na po ang pagro-rollout ng pagbabakuna at dapat nating kunin ang kumpyansa ng mamamayan na ang tanging solusyon, ang tanging susi ay ang bakuna lamang para unti-unti na tayong makabalik sa normal nating pamumuhay, (I hope the vaccination rollout will continue and we should get the trust of our citizens which is the solution, the key for our lives to return to normal),” he said. AAC (witth reports from Harlene Delgado)

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