DOTr orders strict enforcement of transport health protocols amid spike in COVID-19 cases

Robie de Guzman   •   March 10, 2021   •   436

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has ordered the stringent implementation of health protocols in all modes of public transportation to help curb the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade stressed that the COVID-19 threat remains as he directed the transport sector to ensure that health and safety protocols are being enforced in transportation hubs to prevent the further transmission of coronavirus disease.

Tugade also reminded commuters not to talk or eat inside the public vehicle and to continue practicing health protocols such as the wearing of face mask and face shield and physical distancing.

“The DOTr remains committed to uphold health and safety in our public transportation. But we cannot do it alone. Sa mga pasahero, drayber, at operator, magtulungan po tayo. Maging responsable at maging disiplinado tayo,” the DOTr chief said in a news release on Tuesday.

“Ang virus ay nandito pa rin kaya kaya pinaaalalahanan natin ang ating mga pasahero na magsuot ng face mask at face shield lalo sa loob ng pampublikong transportasyon. Huwag makipag-usap o kumain habang nasa loob ng sasakyan. Sundin din natin ang tamang physical distancing,” he added.

Tugade likewise reminded transport operators to properly and frequently disinfect their vehicles.

In response to Tugade’s order, the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) said it will conduct intensified operations against COVID-19 violators.

“We are taking COVID-19 very seriously. The task force will show no leniency to PUV drivers who fail to implement health protocols aboard their unit at the expense of their passengers’ lives,” I-ACT Task Force Chief and DOTr Assistant Secretary for Special Concerns B/Gen. Manuel Gonzales (Ret.) said.

I-ACT noted that despite the continuous implementation of transport health protocols, some PUV drivers and conductors still commit violations based on their random daily inspection of the task force on roads and highways inside and outside Metro Manila.

From January to February 2021 alone, I-ACT task force has apprehended a total of 517 PUV drivers for breach of health provisions contained in LTO MC 2020-2185 and/or DOTr MC 2020-014, the agency reported.

I-ACT said it is recalibrating its enforcement strategy for further intensified operations against violators and amplified public knowledge for increased compliance to ensure “collective safety” amid the pandemic.

DOTr calls on PUV operators to help displaced conductors

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade has called on public utility vehicle (PUV) operators to help their personnel.

The agency has received reports and photos of displaced PUV conductors asking the government for jobs and assistance.

Tugade reiterated his directive to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to find ways of helping  displaced PUV personnel heavily affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Doon sa matutulungan at mabibigyan ng hanap-buhay, bigyan natin sila ng hanap-buhay. Makiisa at makipag-ugnayan kayo sa ating mga kasamahan na kung kwalipikado naman at physically fit na magtrabaho sa lansanagan bilang isang draybe o konduktor, bigyan natin sila ng pagkakataon,”  he said.

He reiterated that the department has various programs including Service Contracting, Tsuper Iskolar under Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). These programs can can assist drivers and conductors in securing jobs and gaining more knowledge for better opportunities.

Tugade also pushed for a massive information dissemination to bring awareness to various DOTr programs. AAC


DOTr inaugurates modernized Calbayog Airport in Samar

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) formally inaugurated the modernized Calbayog Airport in Calbayog City, Samar on Wednesday (May 5).

The improvement and modernization of the Calbayog Airport include the construction of the new Passenger Terminal Building (PTB), new apron, and new taxiway.  Completed works also include the widening of the runway.

Once operation begins, Calbayog Airport will serve as the ‘complementary airport’ of the Tacloban Airport and will be able to accommodate a total of 450 passengers from the previous 76 passengers. It will also cater to jet aircraft operations.

CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongco said the modernized Calbayog Airport can boost the Eastern Visayas region’s economic development.

Over 300 more direct jobs will be opened once the new developments are operational. AAC

MIAA records P13.9 billion remittance from 2016 to 2019

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has reached a remittance of P13.9 billion in dividends to the National Government from 2016 to 2019.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade lauds the MIAA for its achievement which surpassed its total remittances in the last 20 years.

“MIAA’s performance in four years show consistent good fiscal management. My congratulations to the men and women of the MIAA, with the leadership of GM Ed Monreal, for your sterling numbers. The Filipino people stand to benefit from your good work,” he said.

MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal reiterated the agency’s commitment to further enhance the financial management as well as improve the infrastructure and operations of NAIA.

“Ultimately, our fiscal performance should resonate in our efforts in making each airport passenger satisfied beyond expectations,” he said. AAC


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