DOTr defends bid to grant emergency powers to Duterte

Maris Federez   •   September 5, 2019   •   709

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Thursday (Sept. 5) appealed to the House of Representatives (HOR) to grant emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte.

This is to give the government more latitude in addressing the traffic problems, particularly in Metro Manila.

While DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade agrees to the lawmakers that several traffic strategies can be implemented even without any grant of emergency powers to the executive, he said such implementation will be slow and might not still be completed even after their term in office has ended.

Tugade further said government projects that are aimed at solving the traffic problems in the country may even be stalled by the long processes in the bureaucracy and even by some laws, such as, on the Right of Way.

To which some members of the House disagree.

“In other countries, no emergency powers were granted to the executive to solve the traffic congestion,” said Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman.

Tugade, on the other hand, said, “emergency power is not forever. It has a defined time. In fact, sinasabi ho namin noon at uulitin ko ngayon, yung emergency power noon was between two to three years kung naibigay ho noon yan [we’d been saying ever since, and I’m saying it again, the emergency powers (we’ve been asking then) was between two and three years, if it had been granted then].”

Earlier on Thursday, the DOTr presented to the House their P147-billion proposed budget for 2020.

A major portion of this will be allocated to the railway sector with P108-billion budget, or equivalent to 98.78% of the department’s total budget.

The department believes that improving the railway sector will be a big help in easing the transportation problems not just in Metro Manila but in other key areas in the country as well. (from the report of Vincent Arboleda) /mbmf

MRT-3 to deploy 90 augmentation buses during suspended weekend operations

Marje Pelayo   •   July 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 90 bus units will be on standby at end terminals of Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) to ferry passengers who will be affected by the suspended weekend operations of the train system. 

The first trip will be at 5:30 am and the last trip will be at 8:00 pm from North Avenue to Taft Avenue station and vice versa.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) earlier announced the temporary suspension of weekend operations to facilitate the replacement and installation of new rails. 

READ: No MRT-3 operations in four weekends from July to September – DOtr

Maintenance works at the stations are expected to be completed by December 2020. MNP (with inputs from Joan Nano)

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Duterte tells DOTr to put more seats at NAIA

Marje Pelayo   •   July 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte expressed concern over the plight of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) crowding the premises of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

He has ordered Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to provide additional resting areas and chairs for waiting passengers.

In the past weeks, thousands of LSIs flocked the premises of NAIA hoping for their flights to proceed.

“Walang maupuan. Iilan lang ang upuan. Kapag may flights nagpatong-patong, ang iba nakatindig. What’s really worse is that mayroong restaurant sa labas na malaki,” the President told Tugade during the late night briefing on Tuesday (June 30).

(There are not enough seats. When there are flights, people would crowd and some are forced to stand. The worst part is, there’s a huge restaurant outside.)

Paalisin mo ang restaurant. Lagyan ng upuan kasi ang mga buntis, mga bata, walang upuan,” he added.

(Remove the restaurant. Put more seats because pregnant women and children have nowhere to sit.)

Meanwhile, the President asked Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año to provide for the needs of LSIs outside the airport premises. 

Gather all na naghihintay ng walang matulugan, walang matirhan at nandiyan sa labas ng NAIA,” he told Año.

(Gather all those who have no place to stay and are just staying outside of NAIA.)

“You will be transported to a place. I will pay. Just bill me [including food],” the President said. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Mini loop routes ng city buses, ipinatupad na ng DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   June 29, 2020

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MANILA, Philippines – Umarangkada na ngayong Lunes, Hunyo 29 ang mini loop routes ng city buses para makatulong sa pagbiyahe ng mga commuter.

Ayon sa Department of Transportation (DOTr), dalawa ang mini loop routes na binuksan ngayong araw: ang Monumento – MRT Quezon Avenue Station at PITX – Ayala Avenue.

Ang rutang Timog-Santolan naman ay sa Miyerkules, July 1 pa magsisimula.

Nakadugtong ang mga rutang ito sa bus augmentation ng Metro Rail Transit (MRT) line 3 na bumibiyahe sa EDSA sa pagitan ng North Avenue at Taft Avenue na binuksan ng DOTr noong June 1 kasabay ng paglipat ng Metro Manila sa general community quarantine.

“Marami kasi tayong mga commuter o mga pasahero na nag-express ng kanilang concern na wala silang masakyan from Monumento going to North Avenue or Quezon Avenue. Gayundin y’ong mga galing ng PITX papunta ng Ayala. So, ‘yon ang in-adress natin ngayon,” ani DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddess Hope Libiran.

Ayon sa kagawaran, 30 public bus units ang nakatalaga sa mga nabanggit na ruta.

Tiniyak naman ng DOTr na araw-araw ang gagawing assessment para matugunan ang pangangailangan ng mga commuter.

Alinsunod sa direktiba ng Inter-Agency Task Force, gradual o unti-unti ang pagbabalik ng operasyon ng mga pampublikong sasakyan. Una nang pinayagan ang limitadong operasyon sa itinakdang ruta ng point-to-point buses, transport network vehicle services at public utility buses. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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