9 June 2020
Mindanao air connectivity gets boost with completion of airport development projects in Zamboanga Intl Airport, Jolo Airport
ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is a step closer in its pursuit for enhance air connectivity throughout the country, with the completion of various development projects at the Zamboanga International Airport in Zamboanga City and at the Jolo Airport in the province of Sulu.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade lauded the relentless efforts of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) for the completion of the two Mindanao airport projects, which are expected to greatly benefit the whole region.
According to the transportation chief, these recent developments are just in time for the resumption of commercial operations of most airports, which have suspended operations during the enforcement of strict community quarantine across the country, in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“With the work we are doing, especially with the work the CAAP is continuing with, the aviation sector will surely recover. Ito ‘hong mga proyektong ito ang paraan namin para sabihing we will get back on our feet and we will do so by enhancing our mobility and connectivity,” Secretary Tugade pointed out.
Improvements made at the Zamboanga International Airport include the rehabilitation of its Passenger Terminal Building (PTB).
There is also continuing appropriations for the site acquisition of the New Zamboanga International Airport, to be located in the Mercedes – Talabaan area.
Improvements were also made at the Jolo Airport, which is the only gateway serving the province of Sulu. The completed improvements include the construction of the airport’s PTB.
Meanwhile, ongoing projects for the Jolo Airport include the continuing construction of its perimeter fence, site acquisition for its runway extension, relocation/construction of fire station building, construction of an administration building, and correction of the runway strip width.
The newly-developed Zamboanga International Airport is located close to Dipolog Airport, while the nearest gateways to the Jolo Airport are the Zamboanga International Airport, Sanga-Sanga Airport, Ipil Airport, and the Pagadian Airport.
For his part, CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongco said the improvements in the Zamboanga and Jolo airports signify the readiness of the country’s aviation industry to build regional hubs as the industry transitions to the “new normal” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We may have been hit hard by this pandemic but we will always come up with strategic plans to help cushion its impact. Apart from our completed airport projects, we also have other ongoing projects expected to be operational soon. These will surely contribute to our smooth transition, especially that we are promoting the use of regional airports to decongest NAIA,” Director General Sydiongco said.
08 June 2020
DOTr deploys 268 P2P buses in 28 routes as Metro Manila, adjacent areas enter 2nd week of GCQ
MANILA – As Metro Manila and its adjacent areas enters the second week of the general community quarantine (GCQ), 28 routes to be served by point-to-point (P2P) buses have been identified to ferry more commuters as the transition into the “new normal” continues.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr), through the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), said the P2P buses that will use these routes will not only serve commuters within Metro Manila, but will also transport passengers going to Imus, Bacoor, Dasmariñas and Noveleta (Cavite); Sta. Rosa and Calamba (Laguna); Cainta and Antipolo (Rizal); Malolos, Balagtas, Pandi, Sta. Maria, and Plaridel (Bulacan) and to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and Sangley Airport in Cavite.
The following are the P2P routes and the corresponding number of buses serving each route:
1. Las Piñas – Makati
2. Sucat/PITX – Makati
3. Eastwood – Makati
4. Fairview – Makati
5. Alabang – Makati
6. Alabang – Ortigas
7. Alabang- BGC
8. Antipolo-Ortigas CBD
9. Antipolo – Makati CBD
10. Cainta – Makati
11. Imus – Makati
12. Noveleta – Makati
13. Sangley Airport/ Cavite City – NAIA
14. Makati – Bacoor
15. Makati – Dasmarinas
16. Alabang – Bacoor
17. Alabang – Dasmarinas
18. Taguig – Makati
19. Taguig – Ortigas
20. Malolos – North EDSA
21. Sta Maria/ Bocaue – North EDSA
22. Balagtas, Bulacan – North EDSA
23. Pandi, Bulacan – North EDSA
24. Plaridel, Bulacan – North EDSA
25. Sta. Rosa, Laguna – Makati City
26. Calamba, Laguna – Makati
27. Calamba – BGC/ Fort Bonifacio
28. Calamba – Lawton
The P2P buses serving the 28 routes have been issued special permits by the LTFRB as part of the control measures being enforced under the GCQ.
These buses abide by the conditions on the issuance of Special Permits at terminals prior to and after operations, and during operations. The conditions include the health and safety provisions as outlined by DOTr, aligned with the protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and the Department of Health (DOH) to ensure safety of passengers as well as the bus personnel.
As part of the preventive measures, the use of face masks and gloves for P2P bus drivers will be mandatory. Also required are the thorough and regular disinfecting of the buses and bus terminals.
Passenger load for the P2P buses should also not exceed 50 percent or half of the vehicle’s capacity to observe physical distancing.
The P2P bus units are equipped with GNSS for monitoring of movement, automatic fare collection system (AFCS) for cashless payments, RFID tags, among others.
Last 1 June 2020, Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon), the Central Visayas, Pangasinan, Zamboanga City, and Davao City were placed under a GCQ. The rest of the country meanwhile shifted to a Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).
With the enforcement of the GCQ, some quarantine restrictions were relaxed and some modes of public transportation were allowed to resume operations in two phases.
For Phase 1 covering June 1 to 21, the DOTr has allowed the operation but with limited passenger capacity of trains, bus augmentation for trains, taxis, transport network vehicle services (TNVS), shuttle services, P2P buses, and bicycles.
Tricycles are also be allowed to operate during Phase 1 but subject to prior approval of the concerned local government unit (LGU).
From Phase 1 until the period covered by Phase 2 from June 22 to 30, the LTFRB will continue to add and open new bus routes to accommodate the large volume of commuters expected during the transition to the “new normal.”
5 June 2020
DOTr goes digital; to harness best practices in technology for seamless transactions, limit human intervention
MANILA – The four sectors of the Department of Transportation (DOTr): Road Transport; Railways; Maritime; and Aviation are shifting to the “new normal” through digitalization and by harnessing the best practices in technological advancements in different transactions.
The move is in line with the safety precautionary measures being prescribed by health authorities to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). These include measures such as physical distancing or limiting direct human-to-human intervention.
While other measures are in place for the continuous development of the country’s transport system, Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade said the agency will also ensure that the public transportation sector will not become a transmission vector of the disease.
“While the mandate of the Department of Transportation is to provide transportation, mobility and convenience among the population, we are vested with the responsibility that we must help in preventing the spread of COVID-19,” the transportation chief said.
In the Road sector, several transactions will be made online and through cashless payments.
Starting 16 June 2020, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will launch in Metro Manila the Public Transport Online Processing System (PTOPS), which will allow services to be made accessible online.
Meanwhile, the Land Transportation Office will implement digital transactions made through the Land Transportation Management System (LTMS). Through the system, application for driver/conductor’s renewal of license, requests for revision of records, and requests for Certificate of No Apprehension can be processed online.
Additionally, cashless transactions will also be implemented in public utility vehicles (PUVs), taxis, and Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) through Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS). This is carried out through the support of various payment solutions companies, whose mobile applications have also features that allow contact tracing of passengers.
Further, electronic toll collection will also be made through the mandatory use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags on all PUVs using tollways and expressways.
In the Railways sector, services will undergo total digitalization. This includes online reservations or train ticket purchases. Passengers can also opt to use cards or use digital payment options.
In addition to this, rail networks will also expand the use of artificial intelligence on its infrastructure. This method will be of great benefit for massive scanning and temperature profiling, automated contact tracing, human to human contact detection or detection of social distancing violations, face mask detection, and frequent contact surface analysis.
In the Maritime sector, the Automated Passenger Ticketing System will soon be implemented. The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) will automate passenger ticketing in all its passenger terminals nationwide to avoid face-to-face ticketing transactions.
The pilot testing of the system started on March this year and is targeted to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2020.
There will also be an integration of all payment platforms into one system covering all PPA terminals to limit face-to-face cargo transactions.
Further, a centralized vessel tracking and port surveillance system called the National Port Monitoring Center will be implemented. This will be used to monitor vessel and port activities as part of border control and protection.
Lastly, in the Aviation sector, the use of Virtual Air Traffic Control (ATC) Tower is being considered.
Te use of remote virtual towers allows ATC services to be provided away from the airport, instead of airport towers. The said advanced technology is heavily looked into to ensure that passenger safety will not be compromised.
“We are gearing to a future wherein technological advancement will be highly optimized. As we gradually shift to the “new normal,” we have to adapt digitalization in most of the things we do so that we can move forward and achieve healing faster,” Secretary Tugade expressed.