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

Robie de Guzman   •   June 27, 2019   •   5592

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.

Panelo: One-on-one interview with Duterte to push through on Tuesday

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 28, 2020

After its postponement on January 22, the one-on-one interview with President Rodrigo Duterte will push through on Tuesday (January 28), said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Monday.

The January 22 schedule for the one-on-one interview was postponed due to “pressing family matters”.

“Due to pressing matters, the tête-à-tête Part 2 of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo has been moved to January 28, 2020 at the Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace at 5:00 p.m.,” a previous media advisory read.

This will be the President’s second têtê-a-têtê. The first televised interview was held last September 2018.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

PH now working on terminating PH-US VFA, says Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   January 24, 2020

Philippine Marines rush to shore during an amphibious landing exercise with United States counterparts on a beach on the coast of the Naval Education and Training Command in Zambales Province, northwest of Manila, Philippines, 09 May 2018. The Philippines-US Balikatan (Shoulder to Shoulder) Military Exercise is on its 34th iteration, which is aimed to enhance interoperability between security forces of the two countries. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang confirmed Friday that the Philippines has started the process of terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States, a day after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to end the deal if it does not reverse the cancellation of Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa’s visa.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the president issued the termination order Thursday night despite giving a month for the US to restore the senator’s visa.

Panelo said the order has already been relayed to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. as well as Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez.

“I just talked with Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin, and he said that he will start with the process and he called up already the vice chair and they talked, and Ambassador Romualdez has already been informed, I was also talking to him earlier,” he said.

In a tweet on Friday, Locsin confirmed he and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana have taken the first step in ending the 1998 deal with the US government.

Locsin sits as the chairperson of the Commission on Visiting Forces while Lorenzana serves as vice chairman.

“Del Lorenzana and I- as Vice and Chair of USVFA – are starting the process of terminating it by first contacting the Senate because it is a treaty on our side, an executive agreement on the US side. I’m leaving for Washington on a totally unrelated matter,” he wrote on his Twitter account.

Lorenzana, for his part, refrained from commenting into Duterte’s latest pronouncement.

“Will study it first,” he said in a message to reporters. “No comment muna. Too soon to comment.”

The VFA is a bilateral accord between Washington and Manila that came into force in 1999. It outlines the guidelines about the treatment of their troops when visiting the US or the Philippines. It includes provisions on visa and passport policies for US troops and the American government’s right to retain jurisdiction over its personnel, among others.

The deal may be terminated by either of the two countries by writing to the other party signifying their intent to end the agreement. Its expiration will come 180 days from the date of notification. – RRD (with details from Correspondents Rosalie Coz & Lea Ylagan)

Duterte turns down Trump invite to attend US-ASEAN meet

Robie de Guzman   •   January 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said he has decided to reject the invitation of United States President Donald Trump to attend the US-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit to be held in Las Vegas this March.

Duterte announced his decision during an interview with Russian International Television Network RT.

“I just received an invitation to go to the United States together with the ASEAN leaders. I haven’t been to the States. I was invited by [former US President Barack] Obama a while back. But I did not go,” he said in a video posted on Thursday.

When asked if he will attend the upcoming summit between the US and ASEAN, Duterte replied with: “No, no.”

During the interview, the president recalled the time when Obama criticized him and his campaign against illegal drugs.

“One time when I was being criticized by Obama in a press conference, he should have realized that I’m also the head of a sovereign state. He should have criticized me in the proper venue,” he said, referring to a September 2016 press conference where Obama urged Duterte to conduct his campaign “the right way.”

The president said Obama’s move to castigate him in a press briefing got him “so mad” and prompted him to curse the former president.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier said that the chief executive is “still pondering” on whether he would accept Trump’s invitation as he is mindful of the possibility of getting barred from entering the US since he doesn’t have a visa, and making some American senators “unhappy” seeing him there. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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