Cebu’s ports, bus terminals pass muster

ALL the bus, seaport and airport terminals were clean and orderly when officials of agencies attached to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) inspected these at the start of the Holy Week travel rush.

Acting Cebu Gov. Agnes Magpale congratulated the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), Cebu Port Authority (CPA) and the management of the Cebu North Bus and South Bus Terminals for their efforts in keeping travelers safe. She joined yesterday’s inspections to check the enforcement of Oplan Ligtas Biyahe (Operation Safe Travel).

Director Raul Aguilos of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7 said the roadside random drug tests and roadworthiness tests will continue throughout the week.

Three bus drivers were found positive last Tuesday of using illegal drugs. Their driver’s licenses were confiscated and if the results are verified, these will be revoked.

As part of the inspection, Zosimo Jumao-as Jr. showed the closed-circuit TV (CCTV) security system that covers the entire North Bus Terminal. Jumao-as is the chairman and general manager of the Cebu Provincial Bus Operators Multi-Purpose Cooperative, which manages the facility.

“We are planning to expand this terminal, as recommended to the board of our cooperative by a consultant,” Jumao-as said.

Director Ahmed Cuizon of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board said the CCTV is a big help because if a passenger’s baggage is left in a taxi, the plate number can be traced.

As part of security precautions, the passenger terminal at Pier 3 is equipped with two X-ray machines and two walk-through X-rays that will scan all outgoing bags to flush out contraband items like firearms and illegal drugs.

Passengers are still expected to head for Cebu’s ports today as they make their way home for the long weekend.

Director Nanette Villamor Dinopol of the Maritime Industry Authority said that the agency issued special permits to shipping line operators who planned to make extra trips.

Most of the applicants are plying the Cebu-Bohol route and serving destinations in Mindanao, she said.

Another concern, apart from safety and the frequency of trips, was access to clean toilets.

According to Magpale, the toilets in the departure area of Mactan airport and the passenger terminal at Pier 3 were both very clean during the inspection.

MCIAA General Manager Nigel Paul Villarete said that DOTC allocated P4.7 million for Region 7’s share in the nationwide toilet facilities improvement project.

“The goods were procured in bulk and the civil works are procured by lot. We are part of Lot 8. MCIAA and CPA are allocated 125 sets, of which 26 are at MCIA,” Villarete said.

Villarete and CPA Port Authority (CPA) Safety and Security Manager Oscar Lopez said the bidding for the project will be conducted soon.

“The airport is a public facility. DOTC wants to have uniform operational toilets in all its terminals—land, sea and air. It’s not only for MCIA but for all facilities operated by DOTC. It also includes the Cebu port and all other ports in Cebu province under the CPA,” Villarete said.
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