Students to get free train rides, airport and seaport terminal fees — DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   June 27, 2019   •   5073

The Department of Transportation on Thursday (June 27) announced that students would get free rides from railway lines operated by the government, and exemption from terminal fees in seaports and airports across the country.

In a Facebook post, the DOTr said that students will get to enjoy free rides in Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3), Light Rail Transit line 2 (LRT-2) and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) at select hours from Monday to Friday except on holidays.

MAGANDANG BALITA!Tuluy-tuloy ang pagpapadama ng Kagawaran ng Transportasyon at ng mga attached agency nito ng PUSO at…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Wednesday, 26 June 2019

The DOTr said free rides will start on July 1 on the following train schedules:

MRT-3

5 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

LRT-2

4:30 a.m. to 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4:40 p.m. 

PNR

5 a.m. to 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“Bakit nga ba binibigyan natin ng oras ang libreng pamasahe? Dahil hinihikayat nating pumasok ng maaga sa paaralan ang mga estudyante kapalit nyan ay libreng pamasahe,” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said.

Tugade said that for now, students only need to show their school identification cards to avail of the free rides and terminal fee exemption.

“Starting July 1, kailangan lang magpakita ng Student ID. Maglalagay din po tayo ng special lane para mas maayos po ang implementasyon nito,” he said.

But in the succeeding days, students will have to apply for a free ride ID by filling up a form which can be downloaded from the website of DOTr and its attached agencies.

Students may claim the free ride IDs from Malasakit Help desks situated in train stations.

Students will also get exemptions from paying terminal fees when flying in any airport operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and seaports under the Philippine Ports Authority.

This is expected to take effect in the coming months after the policy’s implementing rules are cascaded to 114 ports across the country.

Apart from students, the DOTr said senior citizens, persons with disabilities and selected uniform personnel who are in active military and coast guard service will also get to enjoy seaport and airport terminal fee exemption.

The agency said this initiative is part of the government’s efforts to provide Filipinos comfortable lives.

“Patunay po ito ng patuloy na pagmamalasakit ng Kagawaran ng Transportasyon at ng mga kaugnay nitong ahensyang MRT-3, LRTA, PNR, CAAP at PPA, upang bigyan ng komportableng buhay ang mga Pilipino, gaya ng hangad ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte,” the DOTr said.

Duterte to insist arbitral ruling to China: ‘Whether you like it or not’

Marje Pelayo   •   August 22, 2019

(L-R) President Rodrigo Duterte, Pag-asa Island and Chinese President Xi Jinping

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte maintained that he will raise the arbitral ruling that favors the Philippines in the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea when he visits China next week.

Duterte is scheduled to fly to China for a working visit from August 28 to September 3.

He will meet Chinese president Xi Jinping and talk about the Hague ruling, the code of conduct, as well as the proposed joint oil exploration in the West Philippine Sea.

“So whether you like it or not, would it make you happy or not, angry or otherwise. Sorry, but we have to talk the arbitral ruling, then what we get, if there is a start of the exploration and extraction of whatever there is in the bowels of the earth,” the President said during the inauguration of the 7.5 megawatt peak solar power project in the municipality of Odiongan, Tablas Island in Romblon on Wednesday (August 21).

“The proposal of 60-40 in our favor, would be a good start. I hope it would graduate to something like towards how do we solve the arbitral ruling peacefully,” he added.

The event was the President’s first public engagement after being out of the public eye for more than a week. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte to decide on banning online gambling in PH amid China’s call – Palace

Marje Pelayo   •   August 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Wednesday (August 21) said it is up to President Rodrigo Duterte to decide on the operations of online gambling in the country.

“We have to ask the President on this policy or issue,” Panelo told reporters.

“Hindi natin alam kung may possibility or wala. We have to ask the President,” he added.

On Tuesday (August 20), Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang has called on the Philippine government to ban all forms of online gambling.

“We have also taken note of the Philippine government’s announcement and appreciate it,” he said in a press conference in Beijing.

“We hope the Philippines will go further and ban all online gambling,” he added.

Defense officials expressed concern over proximity of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) near military camps arguing the possibility of Chinese workers becoming spies for Beijing.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), meanwhile, has already stopped accepting applications for POGO licenses in the country unless underlying issues are settled.

But Panelo noted that online gambling remains legal under Philippine law.

Defense chief lauds Duterte order on foreign vessels entering PH waters

Robie de Guzman   •   August 21, 2019

One of the anti-submarine vessels which docked at Pier 15 South Harbor, Manila.

MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has lauded President Rodrigo Duterte’s move to require foreign vessels to first secure a clearance from the government before entering the Philippine waters.

“That is a very good development. At least now we have some authority to enforce our laws within our territorial waters,” Lorenzana said Tuesday.

Earlier, Duterte, through spokesman Salvador Panelo, issued a directive for all foreign vessels to provide notification and get clearance from proper government authority in advance of the actual passage. He also warned foreign vessels that Manila will either get compliance in a friendly manner or enforce it in an unfriendly manner.

READ: Duterte warns foreign ships to get clearance before entering PH waters

When asked to elaborate, Panelo explained that by saying ‘unfriendly,’ it means blocking entry to any foreign vessels intruding in the Philippine territory.

He, however, clarified that the President’s order didn’t mean an automatic use of force against intruders.

“By that it means that we will ask them to move out of the place, that’s unfriendly, because before we never said anything, we just allow them, we just make protest, but this time, we will tell them, please get out of our territorial waters,” Panelo said.

Duterte’s order came after reports of Chinese warships that allegedly entered the Philippine territory, particularly in Sibutu Strait in Tawi-Tawi, without permission from the government.

Lorenzana, for his part, could not say yet the “unfriendly option” the Philippine Military could use to ward of intruders into the country’s waters. The Defense chief said he will defer the matter to the Philippine Navy. (RRD with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

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