Transport group questions ‘No Beep Card, No Ride’ policy

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 2, 2020   •   734

A transport group is questioning the ‘No Beep Card, No Ride’ policy which mandates commuters to have their own beep card with a secured maintaining balance to use the EDSA Busway.

Laban Konsyumer appealed to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to suspend the policy until the end of the year. The group’s president Vic Dimaguiba said the department should first clarify the policy, especially when purchasing the cards and maintaining balance.

Iyon po kasing sinasabi na kailangan may remaining balance na 65 pesos that’s a new policy. Ang pinaka-mahalaga po pag-aralan nila ay class ng consumer na gagamit ng beep card sa mga buses (What they say about having the remaining balance of 65 pesos, that’s a new policy. The most important thing they need to review is the class of consumers using beep cards in buses),” he said.

The Chief Commercial Officer of the AF Payments Inc. Sharon Fong, said the maintaining balance is needed in order for operators not to have income losses.

Imagine this scenario if we do not do that and iyong pasahero pays for the lowest fare and ita-tap niya lang is 10 pesos and he took the farthest fare malulugi naman po ang operators (Imagine this scenario if we do not do that and the passenger pays for the lowest fare and only tapped 10 pesos and he took the farthest fare, the operators will sustain losses),” she said.

Meanwhile, the DOTr clarified the difference between Beep Cards and cards used in Beep Rides. In a statement, the DOTr said Beep Cards are used in EDSA Busways, MRT, and LRT while Beep Ride Cards are used in modern jeepneys.

“What that PUV operator is selling is different from the Beep Card (Not Beep Rides Card) being used at the EDSA Busway / MRT / LRT. The actual beep card is interoperable with MRT and LRT. Beep Rides is a totally different company offering AFCS and has totally nothing to do with Beep by AF Payments,” the statement reads. -AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

DOTr calls on PUV operators to help displaced conductors

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade has called on public utility vehicle (PUV) operators to help their personnel.

The agency has received reports and photos of displaced PUV conductors asking the government for jobs and assistance.

Tugade reiterated his directive to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to find ways of helping  displaced PUV personnel heavily affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Doon sa matutulungan at mabibigyan ng hanap-buhay, bigyan natin sila ng hanap-buhay. Makiisa at makipag-ugnayan kayo sa ating mga kasamahan na kung kwalipikado naman at physically fit na magtrabaho sa lansanagan bilang isang draybe o konduktor, bigyan natin sila ng pagkakataon,”  he said.

He reiterated that the department has various programs including Service Contracting, Tsuper Iskolar under Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). These programs can can assist drivers and conductors in securing jobs and gaining more knowledge for better opportunities.

Tugade also pushed for a massive information dissemination to bring awareness to various DOTr programs. AAC

 

Maritime authorities assist Filipino seafarers aboard COVID-stricken vessel from India

Marje Pelayo   •   May 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Maritime authorities are currently in full force in assisting all Filipino crew members aboard a COVID-19 positive vessel MV Athens Bridge from India.

A statement from the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) on Friday (May 7) said that MV Athens Bridge departed from India on April 22 and arrived in Haiphong, Vietnam on May 1 for the conduct of the crew’s RT-PCR test, as reported by the vessel’s shipping agent.

It was, later on, found that out of the 21 Filipino crew members on board, 12 of them tested positive for COVID-19.

On May 6, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) received a request from the vessel’s captain to execute a medical evacuation of the two crew members who both needed urgent medical care.

The vessel, at that time, was located 12 nautical miles west of Corregidor Island.

Upon securing clearance from the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) and the Department of Health, MV Athens Bridge was directed to the quarantine anchorage area designated by the One-Stop-Shop (OSS) Port of Manila.

Security was also provided by the PCG to ensure that no unauthorized vessel or banca will approach the vessel.

MARINA said that, immediately on the evening of the same day, BOQ doctors boarded the vessel to assess the condition of the crew and recommended the immediate medical evacuation of two crew members in critical condition.

The crew members in critical condition have been safely evacuated and brought to the dedicated medical facility for treatment.

The rest of the crew are contained in the vessel and shall be provided with needed medical supplies, including oxygen tanks, with assistance from the BOQ and the PCG.

The operation is spearheaded by the maritime sector of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) consisting of the MARINA, the PCG, and the Philippine Ports Authority, in cooperation with the agency members of the One-Stop-Shop (OSS) Port of Manila.

The national government assures that the situation and the condition of the crew members will be consistently monitored. Health and safety protocols will also be prioritized throughout the entire process.

DOTr inaugurates modernized Calbayog Airport in Samar

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) formally inaugurated the modernized Calbayog Airport in Calbayog City, Samar on Wednesday (May 5).

The improvement and modernization of the Calbayog Airport include the construction of the new Passenger Terminal Building (PTB), new apron, and new taxiway.  Completed works also include the widening of the runway.

Once operation begins, Calbayog Airport will serve as the ‘complementary airport’ of the Tacloban Airport and will be able to accommodate a total of 450 passengers from the previous 76 passengers. It will also cater to jet aircraft operations.

CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongco said the modernized Calbayog Airport can boost the Eastern Visayas region’s economic development.

Over 300 more direct jobs will be opened once the new developments are operational. AAC

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