P-Noy, binuweltahan ang mga bumabatikos sa taas-pasahe ng MRT at LRT

admin   •   January 9, 2015   •   2808

MANILA, Philippines – Inulan ng kabi-kabilang batikos ang ginawang pagtaas sa pasahe ng Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) sa MRT at LRT sa unang linggo ng 2015.

Kaliwa’t kanang protesta ang isinagawa sa kalsada, habang apat na petisyon ang hinain sa Korte Suprema upang kuwestyunin ito.

Ilang senador rin ang nagpahayag ng kanilang opinyon ukol sa isyu.

Ayon kay Senador Sergio Osmeña III, vice-chairman ng Senate Committee on Public Services, hindi naging transparent ang ginawang pagtataas sa pasahe.

Aniya, “Very questionable sapagkat hindi transparent po. Sana sinabi na nila in advance. Number 1, sana nag-conduct sila ng hearing. The senate would have been willing to help the public in obtaining information in order that the DOTC would be able to justify the fare hike.”

Sinabi naman ni Senador BongBong Marcos na wala sa tiyempo ang pagpapatupad ng nasabing fare hike.

“Siguro naman maliwanag na ang timing is wrong… “I don’t know who decided this but it was very-very poor decision.”

Una nang nagpayahag ng batikos sina Senators, Grace Poe, Jinggoy Estrada, Alan Peter Cayetano at Nancy Binay sa taas-pasahe sa mga mass transit system.

Sagot naman ni Pangulong Benigno Aquino III sa isyu, makatwiran lamang ang taas-pasahe, at sa isang nakikinabang ay dapat pa aniyang dagdagan ang kanilang ibinibayad.

Ipinaliwanag rin ng pangulo na sa kabila ng fare hike ay magbibigay pa rin ng subsidiya ang pamahalaan.

Tinawag rin ng pangulo na pagpapa-cute lamang ang ginagawa ng mga kritiko dahil puro ingay lamang ang ginagawa ng mga ito at wala namang naitutulong.

Una nang sinabi ni Sen. JV Ejercito na maghahain siya ng resolusyon sa pagbabalik-sesyon ng senado upang mapag-usapan ang isyu.

Ayon naman kay Senador Osmeña, ipauubaya na nito kay Senador Grace Poe ang pagpapatawag ng pagdinig ukol sa MRT at LRT fare hike. (Bryan De Paz / Ruth Navales, UNTV News)

Poe asks gov’t to include ‘left out’ PUV drivers in distribution of SAP 2nd tranche

Robie de Guzman   •   May 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe on Thursday called on the government to include public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers in the second tranche of the emergency subsidy under the social amelioration program (SAP).

In a statement, Poe said PUV drivers who have yet to receive assistance more than two months into the quarantine should not be left out in the distribution of the cash aid.

She noted that in the Executive’s latest report to Congress on the implementation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, a total of 62,028 PUV and transport network vehicle service drivers have received cash aid out of the 90,000 estimated beneficiaries.

Poe stressed that the cash assistance should be given to PUV drivers whose livelihood has been affected by the suspension of public transport operations.

“There are more PUV drivers who are barely getting by because of the two-month lockdown, and we hope that government will come to their aid,” she said.

“We expect that the release of SAP’s second tranche to our vulnerable sectors, including drivers, will be more brisk this time, in the wake of the government’s move to send assistance instead through digital means,” she added.

The government rolled out its emergency subsidy program to help 18 million low-income households heavily impacted by the quarantine. Under the program, the intended family-beneficiaries will receive a two-month cash subsidy.

After its first tranche, the executive department raised the number of beneficiaries to 23 million to include those who are not recipients of any Conditional Cash Transfer program and not included in the initial list of beneficiaries but are qualified in the government’s guidelines.

Apart from the cash aid, Poe also asked for assurance from concerned government agencies that all measures are in place to avoid a spillover of commuters along highways in the face of social distancing measures, as the government gears up for the resumption of mass transportation.

She said transportation officials and other implementers should brace for the challenge of “enabling the movement of people without enabling the spread of the virus.”

“The influx of commuters at the train stations will unavoidably lead to long queues. Without proper strategy, this can compromise the safety of the public,” Poe warned.

The senator earlier asked the Department of Transportation to submit to the Senate a report on its strategic preparations to ensure order and proper enforcement of safety protocols once public transportation resumes operations.

With the reduced ridership due to physical distancing, Poe had said government assistance should be on hand to address the expected decrease in take-home income of drivers.

Walking for hours to reach work, home shouldn’t be part of ‘new normal’, Poe says

Robie de Guzman   •   May 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe on Wednesday called on the government to provide assistance to employees who are walking for kilometers from home to work and vice versa due to the still limited public transportation means amid the quarantine.

In a statement, Poe lamented reports on employees having to walk for hours to reach their workplaces and go home after the government eased the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) last May 16.

While the senator acknowledged the workers’ commitment and perseverance, she said this “must not be part of the ‘new normal’” amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

“There’s no doubt about the commitment and perseverance of our workers to return to work to provide income for their families and help shore up businesses sidelined by the pandemic,” she said.

“But the daily commute and walk must not exact a toll on our workers — exposing them to the dangers in the streets and unfavorable weather conditions,” she added.

Some workers reportedly struggled to reach their workplaces on Monday when businesses and offices resumed partial operations after Metro Manila was placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Poe said the government should do all it can to “alleviate the daily sufferings of our workers in getting to work” as public transportation services remain limited.

The senator also stressed that the “no work, no pay” employees will be most affected by this situation.

“Especially woeful are the situation of no-work, no-pay employees, who will not earn anything for the day if they fail to show up, or will be meted with deductions if they come late,” she said.

Under the MECQ guidelines issued by the government, select business establishments and offices have been allowed to resume half of their operations with limited workforce. Skeleton workforce and work from home arrangements may also be implemented.

The Department of Trade and Industry earlier urged employers who were allowed to resume operations to provide shuttle services to their employees.

Poe asks Meralco to delay payment for ‘shocking’ bills until updated ones arrive

Robie de Guzman   •   May 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe on Monday urged the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) to hold off payment for electricity bills until it addresses “confusing” and “unusually high” charges to consumers amid the community quarantine.

In a statement, Poe asked Meralco to address the concerns over the “shocking” electricity bills received by consumers this month.

“We ask Meralco to issue a final and correct billing based on accurate meter reading of the actual kilowatt-hour consumption,” she said.

“Until such accurately updated bill indicating exact staggered due is received by customers, it is proper that they hold off payment,” she added.

Meralco earlier explained that the significant increase reflected in power bills was due to the higher consumption and large number of people staying at home amid the quarantine to prevent novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection.

It also said that the March and April bills were based on the average daily consumption of consumers from December 2019, and January to February 2020.

“While we recognize the efforts of Meralco to explain, the confusing billings and unusually high charges have left many households in distress, especially those who lost their sources of income due to the lockdown,” Poe said.

Poe, who chairs the Senate committee on public services, added that while correcting the electricity bills, Meralco should also assure continuous power service in households amid the public health crisis and hot season.

“As the company sorts out our billings, they should keep our lights on as uninterrupted power supply is crucial to run life-saving equipment in hospitals and to keep people connected,” she said.

Meralco earlier said it has suspended the disconnection of unpaid accounts falling due within the quarantine period. It added that some of its meter-reading activities have already resumed and that it remains accurate and transparent.

The power distributor also stressed that consumers may opt to pay their bills on a staggered scheme following guidelines issued by the government amid the quarantine.

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