DOTr, seafarer groups to provide seamen with affordable transient home in NCR

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 18, 2021   •   439

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and several seafarer groups on Thursday (June 17) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to provide affordable temporary living quarters for seafarers.

The DOTr, the Marino Partylist, and the Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) forged an alliance by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on CONDOTEL for Seafarers during the celebration of the Maritime Industry Authority’s (MARINA) 47th Anniversary.

The initiative will give seafarers decent temporary living quarters in the NCR while waiting to be deployed onboard ships, returning from deployment, and those employed in inter-island shipping.

Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, Marino Partylist’s Hon. Sandro Gonzalez, and AMOSUP’s Dr. Conrado F. Oca signed the MOU, solidifying their partnership in providing Filipino seafarers affordable temporary living facilities in close proximity to the MARINA and other maritime enterprises.

“Napakagandang pangitain na kung nagse-celebrate tayo ng Anibersaryo, binibigyang importansya ang mga marino. In fact, the highlight of today’s gathering can be summed up into two. Una ay ang pagpirma ng Memorandum of Understanding regarding CONDOTEL na pinapakita natin sa mga marino – na para bang sinasabi ng MARINA – nandirito at gagawa kami ng gusali na kung saan doon kayo mananatili, doon kayo maninirahan at doon kayo gagabayan. Napakagandang pangitain,” Secretary Tugade emphasized in his inspirational message.

DOTr Secretary Arthur  Tugade recognized the efforts of Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago for providing the land for the CONDOTEL, as well as the commitment of the Marino Partylist and AMOSUP for the adequate budget to be made available for the construction of the said building.

Marino Partylist Rep. Gonzalez said the project aims to provide seafarers affordable living quarters after several of them experienced eviction from their dorms in Metro Manila due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) scare.

“During the early months of this pandemic, seafarers staying in Metro Manila were evicted from their dorms and hostiles for failure to pay for their lodging because of the misconception that they came from abroad, they were carriers of COVID-19. That is our motivation for this project – the Seafarer’s CONDOTEL. With this MOU, it gives me comfort that this will never happen again,” he said.

The MOU signing was witnessed by MARINA Administrator Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad (AFP, Ret) and PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago. AAC

Free rides, meals await vaccinated APORs at train stations, ports from Aug. 3 to 20 — DOTr

Marje Pelayo   •   August 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines —The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is offering free rides to vaccinated passengers of MRT-3, LRT-2 and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) from August 3 to 20, 2021.

Based on the directive from Transportation Secretary Art Tugade, the free ride service covers the fully and partially inoculated individuals provided they are Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR) identified by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

To avail, they must present their vaccination cards at stations.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) have started giving away free meals to vaccinated passengers at airports and seaports nationwide.

This initiative is part of the government’s campaign to intensify its vaccination program and encourage more people  to get the life-saving COVID-19 jab.

DOTr imposes stricter protocols in transportation in areas under ECQ

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation will impose stricter health protocols in public utility vehicles (PUVs) in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said only authorized persons outside residence (APORs) as identified by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) will be accommodated by public transport services.

The department already retained the current public transport supply and capacity of 50% for areas under ECQ.

“APORs are reminded to be ready to present to transport marshals identification cards issued by the IATF or other documents or IDs as proof that they are authorized to travel,” Tugade said.

During the ECQ, public and private vehicles shall strictly observe the prescribed physical distancing and sanitary measures at all times.

For PUVs, such as buses and jeepneys are allowed to operate at 50% capacity on a “one-seat-apart” setup. Standing passengers will not be allowed, and only one passenger will be allowed at the driver’s row.

For tricycles, operations will depend on the approval of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the local government. If operations are allowed, tricycle passenger load shall not exceed one passenger in the sidecar.

All trains of the Philippine National Railways, LRT-1, LRT-2, and the MRT-3 will have transport marshals to enforce health protocols and to identify APORs. Trains will also be disinfected after every loop. Passengers showing symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to board trains. Temperature checks will be done at station entrances.

Marshals would be strictly enforcing the seven commandments of public transport safety at the transport stations and terminals, and inside public transport vehicles.

The 7 Commandments for Public Transport, based on the recommendations of health experts, are:

1. Wear masks and face shields;
2. No talking and making phone calls;
3. No eating;
4. Keep public utility vehicles well-ventilated;
5. Conduct frequent disinfection;
6. No passengers with COVID-19 symptoms are to be allowed inside public transportation; and
7. Observe appropriate physical distancing (“one-seat-apart”) rule

“We, therefore, remind the riding public of the importance of stringently observing the Public Transport Health Protocols, based on the recommendations of health experts, to protect and uphold the overall welfare of the passengers, and other transport stakeholders,” Tugade said. AAC

DOTr offers free MRT, LRT rides to vaccinated passengers beginning August 3

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 2, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Vaccinated individuals will be able to avail themselves of free rides in the MRT-3, LRT-2, and the Philippine National Railways (PNR), according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

This, after DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade ordered the implementation of free rides in the mass transport system even before the start of the ECQ implementation set on August 6.

The DOTr said that from August 3 to August 20, authorized persons outside residence (APORs) who already received their first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, can avail of the free rides by presenting their vaccination cards.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) will offer free coffee and snacks to vaccinated passengers while they wait for their flights. -AAC

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