As Filipinos continue to embark on the festivities of the Lenten Season, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), together with its attached agencies, heightened all its efforts to ensure the safety, security, and comfort of the riding public throughout the Holy Week under Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Semana Santa 2019.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade has ordered its sectoral offices and attached agencies to exert full operations in all airports, seaports, and land terminals to ensure that the public gets immediate assistance at all times.
“Bago pa man mag-umpisa ang Semana Santa ay naghanda na nang mabuti ang DOTr at ang ating attached agencies para matulungang maging ligtas, maayos at komportable ang biyahe ng mga pasahero,” Secretary Tugade said.
Information Dissemination 24/7
For immediate awareness of the public, the DOTr constantly communicates status updates on the nation’s airports, seaports, and land terminals through all its social media channels to keep the public updated.
This includes necessary information such as cancelled trips, port operations, volume of passengers, weather data, sufficient number of public transport vehicles, and accident / incidents.
Bus augmentation, on-site special permit issuances
As the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) undergoes maintenance work during the Holy Week, the DOTr, in coordination with I-ACT, intensified the Bus Augmentation Program to ensure the mobility of commuters traveling along EDSA during the Holy Week.
Under the Intensified EDSA Bus Augmentation Program, more than 300 bus units were granted special permits to ferry commuters to their destinations along the MRT-3 route.
Throughout the week, Secretary Tugade requested the aid of bus operators to assist in meeting the demand of commuters traveling nationwide.
Additionally, through Secretary Tugade’s directive, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) quickly issued special permits to provincial buses on-site at the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) for increased assistance as the influx of travelers continue to rise during the Holy Week. The same was also done in Davao City.
Secretary Tugade likewise stressed that special permits may also be issued in different regions if needed.
“Mahalagang maagap at mabilis tayo sa pangangailangan ng publiko. Ipinatupad natin itong on-site issuance of special permits dahil alam natin na dumarami ang nangangailangang bumiyahe. Kapag maraming nangangailangan ng masasakyan, dapat ay umisip din tayo ng paraan upang mapabilis ang proseso ng pagbibigay ng kaukulang permits. Hindi lng sa Metro Manila ‘yan. Dapat gawin din ‘yan sa ibang rehiyon,” Secretary Tugade said.
To further improve their operations and services, the MRT-3 and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) continue their maintenance and rehabilitation activities this Holy Week.
For the MRT-3, repair activities aim to improve the railway’s overall operations and its entire system in parallel with the comprehensive rehabilitation program, while the PNR maintenance works are initiated to ensure its tracks and stations are safe and secure.
Free food and medical assistance across all transport hubs
As passengers patiently wait in transport hubs, attached agencies continue to give free snacks and drinks to the riding pubic, especially the elderly and children.
Likewise, passengers suffering from illnesses and the effects of heatstroke were given immediate medical assistance.
Secretary Tugade, along with respective officials, personally inspected the volume of passengers in major terminals to fully assess the situation of each facility and give immediate support to all travelers.
Along with fully-manned DOTr Malasakit Help Desks, officials made sure that all commuters are fully taken care of, while all public transport vehicles are inspected for roadworthiness before traveling.
On-Time Performance for zero delay
As travelers continue to flock the nation’s airports, Secretary Tugade has ordered the DOTr aviation sector, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), to closely monitor the On-Time Performance (OTP) of flights so that passengers will not be stressed by numerous flight delays and cancellations.
“Push the carriers to have better On-Time Performance of flights. Push them to avoid delays. ‘Wag tayong magbigay ng inconvenience sa tao,” Secretary Tugade emphasized.
Secretary Tugade has also ordered that airline OTP’s be published daily in all channels for the information of the public.
The coverage of Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Semana Santa runs from 8 April until 25 April 2019.