Passenger influx expected at bus terminals ahead of May 13 polls
Robie de Guzman • May 10, 2019 • 2280
Thousands of passengers bound for provinces are expected at the Araneta Center Bus Port in Cubao, Quezon City as the day of the midterm national and local elections approaches.
According to the bus port management, they are expecting the arrival of more than 8,000 passengers on Friday to secure tickets going to their respective provinces to cast their votes on May 13 (Monday) polls.
Passengers going to provinces for the election day are reminded to go to the terminal early and to travel light.
“Doon po sa mga hahabol pong pasahero mangyari lamang agahan na po nila ang pagpunta dito sa ating bus station at ganoon din sa ating bus port,” said Ramon Legazpi, Manager of Araneta Center Bus Station.
“Mangyari ay limitahan rin po nila iyong kanilang mga bagahe para hindi rin ito maging cause ng pagkakaantala ng biyahe ng mga bus,” he added.
Among the passengers who are trying to catch a ride home in time for the midterm polls is Evelyn Atazar. She is facing a 12-hour bus ride from Metro Manila to Masbate.
Although the travel towards home is long, bumpy and tiring, Atazar said, she is prepared to endure it in order to exercise her right to suffrage come Monday.
“Mahirap po ‘pag umuulan maputik, iyon ang ano namin sa barangay namin. Bundok talaga,” she added.
Some passengers, on the other hand, complained of longer bus intervals and congested waiting areas at the terminal due to the influx of passengers.
“Ngayon talaga ang hirap sumakay. Hindi nga namin alam kung makakasakay talaga kami kasi wala pang bus. Parating pa lang,” a passenger named Lydia Laurino said.
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) called on taxi drivers to follow traffic rules, particularly the one that prohibits the loading and unloading of passengers at the terminal.
“Sinasabi na namin, ‘yung mga karatula basang basa na nila iyan. Kitang kita nila. Ayaw lang nila sundin. Nakikiusap kami kung pwede sana sumunod na lang sa panuntunan ng batas trapiko. Wag nang magdahilan,” said Bong Nebrija, the head of MMDA Edsa Traffic.
The MMDA earlier announced that the number coding scheme for provincial buses will be lifted on May 10 (Friday) and May 14 (Tuesday) to accommodate commuters who will go to their provinces to vote for the midterm polls.
Nebrija said they are expecting heavy traffic along Edsa on Friday due to the lifting of the number coding scheme and last-minute campaigns of political parties and candidates. (with details from Mai Bermudez)
MANILA, Philippines — The Light Rail Transit (LRT-2) will temporarily limit its operations on May 22 and 23 and on May 29 and 30.
In an advisory, the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) announced that the train service of LRT-2 will only be available from Araneta-Center Cubao to Recto station and vice versa during the said dates.
Opening hours will remain from 5:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. for the Cubao–Recto route while the last trip will be at 9:00 p.m. for the Recto–Cubao route.
PASSENGER ADVISORY: Degraded operations will be temporarily implemented this weekend (May 22-23) and for May 29-30. Opening hours will remain at 5:00 AM and last trip at 8:30 PM (Cubao to Recto) and 9:00 PM (Recto-Cubao). Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. pic.twitter.com/ZtLFeVodvv
MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City government announced that the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao has been identified as one of the city’s mega vaccination sites.
Mayor Joy Belmonte confirmed that the Araneta Group has allowed the city government to use the Big Dome in support of the city’s vaccination program. Inoculations are expected to begin there on Saturday (May 15).
“We estimate that the Big Dome will be capable of delivering 1,000 to 1,500 COVID shots per day,” said Belmonte.
She added that measures for indoor settings, such as proper filters and fan systems for adequate ventilation, will be installed to ensure the safety of everyone who plans to get their jabs at the facility.
Belmonte expressed gratitude to the Araneta Group for offering the Big Dome to the city’s vaccination program for free.
“It is a suitable site for a massive and critical government health drive since it offers adequate space and accessibility to both our healthcare workers and the public,” Belmonte said.
“This will help us strengthen our efforts to provide our QCitizens the protection they need against COVID-19. The faster we vaccinate our people, the sooner we can achieve economic recovery,” the Mayor added.
Also, the Araneta Group committed to provide their own medical personnel to help with the inoculation.
“We are very pleased to accommodate the QC LGU’s vaccination campaign inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum. This is our contribution to the government’s efforts to control the surge of COVID-19 cases in the city and to improve public health,” according to Antonio Mardo, SVP for Operations of the Araneta Group.
The city earlier partnered with the Araneta Group in expanding its free COVID-19 swab testing initiatives. Araneta City was tapped since fourth quarter of 2020 as a venue for the local government’s free RT-PCR tests for the general public.
The company also allowed the free use of the Araneta City Bus Port as an accessible site for the drive-thru COVID-19 RT-PCR saliva testing of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).
The site, which opened in February 2021, offers a painless and less invasive method of collecting samples while reducing person-to-person contact in COVID-19 testing.
Several government agencies conducted rounds and random checks at the Araneta Bus terminal in Quezon City on Wednesday (October 30).
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) started early at 5 in the morning with its spokesperson, Celine Pialago, leading the breath analyzer testing on provincial bus drivers to ensure that they are not under the influence of alcohol.
The randomly selected 13 drivers were tested negative of alcohol test based on the breath analyzer equipment used.
“Well, ‘pag nag-positive po y’ong driver sa alhocol content, iho-hold po siya ng Araneta Center at kailangan po siyang papahingahin at papapalitan po ng driver para po tuluyang makabyahe y’ong unit po ng nasabing bus,” Pialago said.
The Land Transportation Officer (LTO), on the other hand, inspected the lights and the condition of the tires and brakes of passenger buses.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), meanwhile, checked the roadworthiness of the bus units.
LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III said passenger buses must have security and dash cameras installed on their units: otherwise, the operators shall be meted out with P5,000 fine.
They also urge passengers to immediately call out the drivers when they notice or encounter problems while on their trip.
“I have reminded them na kung mag-o-overspeeding y’ong driver o kaya hindi maayos y’ong pagda-drive, sabi ko sa mga pasahero, sila na mismo ang sisita sa driver. Sila na mismo kasi they are there on the road in the bus while they are traveling,” the LTFRB chief said.
The Movie and Television Review and Regulatory Board (MTRCB) also conducted an inspection of the kind of movies being shown inside the buses.
MTRCB chairperson Maria Rachel Arenas said that only films or programs with PG rating or are suitable for children must be played inside the bus.
Personnel of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT), and the Quezon City Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS) are doing rounds in the centers of public conveyance.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) is also on 24-hour standby starting on Tuesday (October 29) until Monday (November 4).
As more people are expected to travel on Thursday (October 31), bus terminal authorities warn the public against bringing prohibited materials such as bladed weapons, flammable items, and alcoholic drinks.(from the report of Asher Cadapan, Jr.) /mbmf
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