Aquino to inspect terminals in Metro Manila

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014


PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III is set to inspect on Wednesday various air, land and sea transport facilities in Metro Manila to ensure smooth and seamless operations during the Holy Week, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said Tuesday.

The inspection is part of the “Oplan Ligtas Biyahe: Kwaresma 2014,” said Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya Jr., who will accompany the President during the visit to different terminals.

“As part of our duty to provide safe and convenient transportation to the public, the DOTC has instructed all transport agencies to take necessary measures to ensure security at our terminals and stations, quick response capability in cases of emergencies, and enhanced facilities and services to meet the needs of our travellers during this peak season,” he said.

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The transportation department launched the Holy Week preparedness plan on April 11. It will run until April 20, to cover the period when large volumes of people were anticipated to travel in and out of Metro Manila.

Among the enhanced operations is the deployment of additional personnel in airports, seaports, bus terminals, and highways to better ensure passenger safety and to immediately respond to their needs, Abaya said, adding that stricter security measures are also in place.

Public assistance desks and first-aid stations have been put up to attend to complaints and medical issues.

Simple facilities such as charging stations and additional seats are also being activated to improve travel convenience.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) is in charge of most airports across the country, while the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), and the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIA) are in charge of their respective airports.

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) is responsible for acting on violations of the Air Passenger Bill of Rights (APBR), which sets out the minimum obligations of air carriers to their passengers in case any untoward incidents occur in relation to their flights.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) have been on a heightened alert status, with both agencies conducting regular inspections at bus terminals and garages.

A number of bus units have been prevented from plying due to lack of roadworthiness.

To accommodate additional bus passengers, the LTFRB has issued 594 special permits, which include additional special permits for bus lines plying routes in the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, and Cordillera regions serviced by the suspended G.V. Florida bus line, which was involved in a fatal crash in Mountain Province last February.

The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) has also instructed expressway operators to deploy roving teams to address motorist needs and accidents on tollways.

In maritime transport, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is imposing stricter security checks at port facilities, while the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) conduct routine seaworthiness checks on ships.

Marina will issue special permits for additional ships to ply underserved routes as needed, and the PCG will continue patrolling the seas and will be ready for rescue operations if necessary.

DOTC said LRT Lines 1 and 2 and the MRT-3 will stop operations beginning April 17 (Maundy Thursday) to April 20 (Easter Sunday). The train lines will resume operations on April 21.

The last trip for LRT Line 1 will be on Wednesday at 8 p.m. The Santolan station of Line 2 will have its last trip at 8 p.m. while the Recto station will have its last trip at 8:30 p.m.

Real-time information on transport incidents, cancelled flights, and expressway traffic situation will be disseminated on social media to assist the public throughout the Holy Week.

The DOTC reminded all travelers to be cautious and alert in order to minimize accidents, and to abide by all safety rules and regulations, which will be strictly implemented by law enforcement agencies. (SDR/Sunnex)

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