Modern jeepneys to ply streets of Quezon province this May

Robie de Guzman   •   May 23, 2019   •   4939

Fifteen jeepneys that are compliant with the government’s new standards will soon start servicing commuters in Quezon Province.

These modern public utility jeepneys were secured by the Lucban Genesis Transport System Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LGTSMPC) to phase out their old models.

The jeepneys will ply the streets of Lucban to Lucena City and back starting next week.

“Unang-una hindi na ho ito mausok kagaya ng dating sasakyan,” said Renwick Rutaquio, Regional Director of LTFRB Region 4A and 4B.

“At meron po tayong tinatawag na side door hindi na back door, so lahat na ng modernong jeep ngayon nasa side na ang labasan,” he added referring to the new design of public jeepneys under the government’s modernization program.

These units are also air-conditioned and equipped with CCTV cameras and Global Positioning System (GPS) which promote passenger safety.

Raul Gambino, the chairperson of LGTSMPC, stressed that the use of these modern jeepneys is important in providing quality, safe and environment-friendly public transportation.

“Sa panahon ngayon, kailangan ng pagbabago lalo’t higit sa transportasyon ngayon, ang dami kasing napapabalita na kung anu-ano mga aksidente. Maraming bagay na apektado ‘yung mamamayan, ‘yung mananakay, gayun din yung may-ari ng sasakyan na mga luma na,” he said.

The minimum fare for ordinary public jeepneys for the first four kilometers in Quezon Province is P9, with additional P1.50 for every succeeding kilometer.

The standard minimum fare for the modernized jeepney is P11, with additional P2 for every succeeding kilometer.

The distribution of modernized public utility jeepneys is part of the government’s program to phase out public vehicles that are at least 15 years old.

Some transport groups have opposed the program because their drivers cannot afford to get a modernized unit.

“Hindi po kami pabor doon katulad ko po isang driver wala po kaming kakayanang makapagprovide ng P100,000 na pang-down payment sa kanilang modernization,” said driver Edgar Saludes.

He, however, expressed hope that the government will look for ways to assist drivers in complying with the new system.

“Eh baka sakaling may magagawa sa amin ang gobyerno na para ‘yung maraming driver na mawawalan ng trabaho ay mabigyan din ng pabor ng gobyerno,” he said.

Rutaquio, meanwhile, assured they are working on a program that would allow ordinary jeepney drivers to secure a modernized jeepney unit.

“Nakikipag-coordinate kami sa mga bangko, sa mga manufacturers, sa OTC at CDA para sa ganun mapagkaisahan naming na tumulong sa mga kooperatiba na gustong kumuha ng mag modernong sasakyan,” he said.

The additional 63 modernized jeepneys for the Quezon province are expected to be delivered in the coming months. (with details from Japhet Cablaida)

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.

Quezon LGU ensures physical distancing at Typhoon Ambo evacuation centers

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2020

LUCENA CITY, Philippines – The Quezon provincial government on Thursday assured that physical distancing will be observed in evacuation centers in areas affected by Typhoon ‘Ambo’ (international name: Vongfong).

The Quezon Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said that the physical distancing measure will be implemented on a per-family basis to ensure that the dreaded novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will not spread among the evacuees.

The Quezon Province is among the areas that are on the track of Typhoon ‘Ambo’.

According to the 5 p.m. severe weather bulletin of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the southernmost part of Quezon Province, including Tagkawayan, Calauag, Lopez, Macalelon, General Luna, Catanauan, Buenavista, Guinayangan, Mulanay, San Narciso, San Andres, and San Francisco have been placed under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) No. 3.

Other areas under signal no. 3 are:

  • Sorsogon
  • Albay
  • Masbate including Tucao and Burias Islands
  • Catanduanes
  • Camarines Sur
  • Camarines Norte
  • Northern Samar
  • The northern portion of Eastern Samar (Jipapad, Arteche, Maslog, Dolores, Oras, San Policarpio, Can-avid, Taft, Sulat, San Julian, Borongan City, Maydolong)
  • The northern portion of Samar (Calbayog City, Sta. Margarita, Gandara, Pagsanghan, San Jorge, Matuguinao, San Jose de Buan, Catbalogan, Jiabong, Motiong, Paranas, Tarangnan, San Sebastian, Hinabangan)
  • Biliran

Meanwhile, signal no. 2 was hoisted over:

  • Southern portion of Quezon (Mauban, Sampaloc, Lucban, Tayabas, Dolores, Candelaria, Sariaya, Tiaong, San Antonio, Lucena, Pagbilao, Atimonan, Padre Burgos, Agdangan, Unisan, Plaridel, Gumaca, Pitogo, Quezon, Alabat, Perez, Real)
  • Marinduque
  • Romblon
  • Laguna
  • Southeastern portion of Batangas (Padre Garcia, Ibaan, Batangas City, Taysan, Rosario, Lobo, San Juan)
  • Northernmost portion of Leyte (Calubian, San Isidro, Tabango, Leyte, Capoocan, Carigara, Barugo, San Miguel, Babatngon, Tunga, Alangalang, Sta. Fe, Tacloban City, Jaro)
  • The rest of Samar
  • The rest of Eastern Samar

Signal no. 1 was raised over the following areas:

  • Aurora
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Bulacan
  • Metro Manila
  • Cavite
  • Rizal
  • Bataan
  • Pampanga
  • Isabela
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Quirino
  • Tarlac
  • Zambales
  • Oriental Mindoro
  • Eastern portion of Pangasinan (Lingayen, Bugallon, Aguilar, Mangatarem, Binmaley, San Carlos, Urbiztondo, Basista, Bayambang, Bautista, Calasiao, Alcala, Malasiqui, Sta. Barbara, Dagupan, Mangaldan, San Jacinto, Mapandan, Manaoag, Urdaneta, Villasins, Sto. Tomas, Rosalies, Balungao, Umingan, San Quintin, Sta. Maria, Natividad, Tayug, Asingan, San Nicolas, San Manuel, Binalonan, Laoac, Pozorrubio, Sison, San Fabian)
  • The rest of Quezon
  • The rest of Batangas
  • Rest of northern portion of Leyte (Villaba, Kananga, Matag-ob, Palompon, Ormoc, Merica, Isabel, Albuena, Pastrana, Dagami, Tanauan, Tabontabon, Tolosa, Barauen, Julita, Dulag)
  • Northeastern portion of Capiz (Pilar)
  • Northeastern portion of Iloilo (Carles, Balasan, Estancia, Batad)
  • Northern Cebu (Medelin, Daanbantayan, Bantayan, Santa Fe)

The PDRRMO assured they are ready to help and that there are enough relief goods for all families evacuated from their homes.

As of posting time, heavy rains and strong winds brought about by Typhoon Ambo have begun lashing parts of Quezon.

PAGASA said Typhoon Ambo is packing maximum sustained winds of 155 kilometers per hour (kph) with gustiness of up to 255 kph. It is moving west at the speed of 15 kph.

The state weather bureau warned that the typhoon may bring heavy to at times intense rains that may induce flooding and landslides.

Storm surges of up to 4.0 meters may be experienced over the coastal areas of Northern Samar, Samar (west coast), Sorsogon, Albay, Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Quezon, and Aurora.

PAGASA said that along with large swells, this storm surge may cause potentially life-threatening coastal inundation. – RRD (from the report of Correspondent Japhet Cablaida)

GCash tapped for faster, safer distribution of cash aid to PUV drivers – DSWD

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Public utility vehicle (PUV) and transport network vehicle service (TNVS) drivers in the National Capital Region (NCR) who are qualified beneficiaries of the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP) may soon get their cash assistance through GCash, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) announced Thursday.

In a statement, the DSWD said the department, along with the Department of Transportation-Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, forged a partnership with G-Xchange, Inc. (GCash) for the distribution of cash subsidies to TNVS and PUV drivers and their families.

The DSWD said the partnership aims to facilitate a quicker and safer approach of cash disbursement since the payout scheme promotes cashless and contactless transactions, compliant to the health and safety protocols being implemented by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

GCash is one of the mobile wallet platforms widely used in the Philippines.

The DSWD said that by leveraging financial technology for the disbursement of cash aid, the risk of crowding will be reduced in disbursement centers like banks, while also improving efficiencies, and promoting transparency and accountability.

“TNVS driver-beneficiaries may withdraw their subsidies via GCash from any Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) nationwide or use the funds to pay for physical and online transactions,” the department said.

“They may also use GCash to pay bills to over 70,000 merchants and billers, buy airtime load, and easily transfer money to other GCash account owners or bank accounts from over 40 financial institutions nationwide,” it added.

The development comes ahead of the distribution of the second tranche of SAP payout.

This also comes after Senator Grace Poe urged the government to tap online cash transfer systems to expedite the distribution of cash subsidy to driver-beneficiaries.

The DSWD vowed to continue to explore more efficient and expeditious means to ensure the provision of needed assistance to low-income families assessed to be most affected by the implementation of the community quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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