LTFRB to issue guidelines on proper placement of signage for PUVs

UNTV News   •   May 23, 2017   •   5945

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MANILA — Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) consulted the Automobile Association of the Philippines to determine the proper placement of sign boards for public utility vehicles so as to avoid distractions while driving.

“There will be an MC for all PUVs that will be coming out within the week for guidance. One sign board in the right side down. Because others have so many sign boards that you can only see the face of the driver in the middle,” LTFRB board member, Atty. Aileen Lizada, said.

Aside from this, the LTFRB has clarified the issue on prohibition of placing sacred symbols in their vehicles.

“We are not saying that sacred symbols are not allowed inside the car. What we are saying is that the sacred symbols like other religious articles just put it near you but, it has been taken out of context but what we are saying is just clear our line of sight,” Atty. Lizada added.

Meanwhile, several lawmakers want to scrutinize the implementing rules and regulations of the said policy.

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Some senators say it seems that the real intention of the law has been lost.

Senator Nancy Binay said, “I’m calling for a review of the IRR. It seems the interpretation [of the law] changes every day.”

Sen. JV Ejercito also said, “It is confusing. I think many enforcers do not know as well what they are implementing.”

Majority floor leader Senator Tito Sotto meanwhile wants to postpone the implementation of the law.

He said, “I am about to call the attention of Committee of Public Service of the Senate if possible to call for a ceasefire or a halt in the implementation of Anti-Distracted Driving Law.”

The LTFRB has initially said it is studying the possibility of suspending the implementation of the law and to prioritize the conduct of a three month information drive for motorists.

Traffic law enforcement agencies will meet again tomorrow to review several regulations of the Anti-Distracted Driving Law. — Joan Nano | UNTV News and Rescue

Global workforce face 305-M job losses in Q2; service sectors in PH to bear brunt

Marje Pelayo   •   May 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The International Labor Organization (ILO) has recorded a 4.8 percent decline in the number of working hours worldwide which is equivalent to 135 million full-time jobs in the first quarter of 2020 as an impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

It is estimated to reach 305 million equivalent jobs by the end of the second-quarter which would add to the number of unemployed individuals around the world.

Specifically, the regions that will bear the brunt of largest losses in hours worked worldwide would be the Americas, Europe and Central Asia.

According to the ILO, the hardest hit are young workers, of which 1 out of 6 are now jobless since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Those who remain employed have faced cuts in their working hours by 23 percent,  the ILO said.

In the Philippines, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III estimates that around 4 million to 5 million Filipinos could become jobless this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The numbers may even reach 10 million if the crisis worsens further.

“Right now, your Honor, we already lost 2.6-M workers resulting from business establishments going into temporary closure and another group of business establishments resorting to flexible work arrangement,” Bello reported during a May 20 Senate hearing.

The most affected is the service sector which includes tourism, hotels, and restaurants.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, in the same hearing, reported a decline in tourist arrivals in the Philippines by 54 percent from January to April this year compared with the same period in 2019.

This resulted in a reduction of 55 percent in tourist arrival revenues during the same period.

“With both international and domestic travel restriction in effect for the entirety of April, there have been no visiting tourists and therefore no revenue for the industry for this month,” Romulo-Puyat said.

To address the issue, the Labor and Tourism Departments are asking Congress for P40-billion and P70-billion budgets, respectively, to assist workers and related sectors in coping with the effects of the pandemic. MNP (with inputs from Rey Pelayo)

PH to use cashless payment system in taxis to further curb COVID-19 spread – DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   May 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday said it is working on forging partnerships with various digital payment providers for the implementation of cashless or contactless transactions in taxis and Transport Network Service Vehicles (TNVS) as part of the “new normal” amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a statement, the DOTr said it has tapped payment platforms to help equip taxis and TNVS with scan-to-pay systems to limit direct physical contact between drivers and passengers, thus further curbing the spread of COVID-19.

Taxis and Transport Network Companies (TNC) are allowed to operate in areas placed under general community quarantine at reduced capacity and with strict health and safety protocols.

“Cashless and contactless payment scheme will now be part of the ‘new normal’ in the public transportation system,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.

The DOTr said one of the first to tie-up with the government for this purpose is GCash.

Under the partnership, GCash will help enable taxi drivers to accept digital payments through the Scan To Pay app where GCash users only need to scan the unique QR code of the taxi unit they are riding in paying for their metered fares.

GCash is also offering the GCash PowerPay+ solution to taxi operators where they can send out salaries, allowances, and commissions through to their employees, or members nationwide, the DOTr said.

“GCash strongly supports the government’s call for the use of mobile payments to lessen the risk of spreading COVID-19 through surfaces such as paper money,” GCash Head of Payments Jovit Bajar said.

Authorities are also in talks with other payment platforms PayMaya, Squidpay and Beep, among others, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said in the same statement.

“We had consultations with these providers over the weekend. We are encouraging these digital payment providers to partner with taxi operators and TNCs to lessen the chance of COVID-19 spread,” LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra III said.

“On the part of the TNCs such as Hirna, Grab and Owto, they are already accepting cashless transactions,” he added.

Duque: Philippines now on second wave of COVID-19 cases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 20, 2020

The Philippines is now on the second wave of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections, according to the Department of Heath (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III on Wednesday (May 20).

“Actually, nasa second wave tayo (we are already on the second wave),” according to Duque in response to a question of Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. regarding preparations for the second wave.

Based on reports by epidemiologists, Duque said, the first wave of the COVID-19 infection in the country was in January when the three Chinese nationals from Wuhan tested positive for COVID-19.

Dr. John Wong, who is working with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) sub-technical working group, had previously reported last May 7 that the second wave of COVID-19 is already happening in the country.

Meanwhile, the DOH Secretary said the government is “doing everything to flatten the epidemic curve.”

Duque said they are already enforcing minimum health standards to prevent a third wave of the COVID-19 infection. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel) 

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