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

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 18, 2021   •   615

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

DOTr ready to defend recommendation to increase PUV passenger capacity

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said it is prepared to defend its recommendation to increase passenger capacity in public transportation, road, and rail.

In a statement released on Tuesday (October 26), DOTr Asec. Steve Pastor said the Department has submitted to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) its formal position paper on the increase in passenger capacity for public transport.

“Nakapag-submit na po ang road sector ng formal position paper na i-increase ang seating capacity from 50% na para po sa amin, kung masusunod ang Kagawaran, ay pwedeng maging 100% based on medical literature that is available. At the same time, we are ready to defend our position to IATF this Thursday,” he said.

The recommendation to increase passenger capacity in public transport aims to help drivers and operators amid the pandemic and the continued increase of fuel prices.

The DOTr’s proposed passenger capacity increase in public transport, with a pilot run in Metro Manila, is anchored on the following arguments:

1. Metro Manila is now under Alert Level 3, which allows for more businesses to open, and more people going out, which resulted to greater demand for public transport. Studies have shown that reliance on complete face mask use and partial hand sanitizer use were proven enough to contain three very modest COVID-19 waves while preserving normal bus services. Other studies have also revealed that passengers in the high-risk zones (seats in the same row with an infected passenger and within 3 rows) had moderate but not significantly higher risk, and that “rigid” safe distancing rules are an oversimplification based on outdated science and experiences of past viruses.

2. The livelihood of public transport drivers and operators were severely affected with passenger capacity in public transport maintained at 50%. Increasing passenger capacity will mean a higher revenue for the public transport sector. This will be a welcome development considering the increase in expenses brought by increasing fuel prices.

3. Metro Manila is the ideal place to test the proposal considering that 81.4% of its population is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition, public utility jeepneys and buses operating in Metro Manila are well-ventilated.

4. The DOTr had also conducted a rapid analysis of available data on COVID-19 cases (7-day average cases per 1 million population) and public transport capacity, which covered 10 countries (Philippine, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, China, Australia, Vietnam, and Malaysia). It was found out that public transport capacity has no significant correlation with the number of COVID-19 cases

5. Evidence also suggest that high vaccination rate prompts an increase in allowed PUV capacity. AAC

DOTr welcomes release of P1B fuel subsidy for PUV drivers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Transportation (DOTr) welcomed the release of P1.0 billion funds to be used for fuel subsidies.

In a statement, the DOTr said this is in support of the transportation sector amid the increasing prices of fuel and oil products. The department also assured the funds will be distributed as cash grants to qualified and bonafide public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers for the remaining months of this year.

“Qualified PUV drivers will receive the cash grants using the system already established under the Pantawid Pasada Program of the LTFRB, where the Landbank of the Philippines shall disburse money straight to the cash cards issued to drivers,” the DOTr said.

Meanwhile, the transportation department will also discuss with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) the increase of passenger capacity in public transportation as the National Capital Region and other parts of the country are placed under more relaxed quarantine levels. AAC

Transport groups defer petition for fare hike

Maris Federez   •   October 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Transport groups have announced that they will defer their petition for a P3.00 fare hike.

This was after the House Committee on Transportation convened with the group and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to discuss the said petition seeking an increase in the minimum fare in jeepneys from P9.00 to P12.00.

Pasang Masda President Obet Martin said they have put off their request following the promise from the lawmakers and the DOTr of providing cash subsidy for the transport groups.

“Hindi na namin maitutuloy […] pero naka-pending lang. Naka-file lang kase nakapag-usap na kami sa Congress. […] Nagkasundo na kami tungkol doon sa cash subsidy at tsaka sa fuel subsidy na winu-workout ng DOTr sa mga companies,” Martin said.

He added that their group, the DOTr and the House committee came to an agreement to create a program that will assist the drivers and operators in coming up with measures to alleviate difficulties brought by the increasing prices of petroleum products.

“Ang LTFRB naman gagawa naman sila ng cash subsidy in a form of pasada card. Kami natutuwa na roon. Pag naayos na lahat yan we will withdraw the said petition dahil bibigyan ng subsidy yan as allowance o pasada card malaking tulong na sa amin yun,” Martin said.

In 2018, the government distributed fuel vouchers to jeepney operators and drivers following the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

Under the law, legitimate transport operators and drivers receive Php5,000 to Php20,000 fuel subsidies.

Meanwhile, transports groups also appealed to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to increase the operation of public utility vehicles to 100 percent capacity.—/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Janice Ingente)

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.