DOTr ready for 100% full capacity for land travel
THE Department of Transportation (DOTr) and its attached agencies have prepared for the downgrading of the NCR’s (National Capital Region) Alert Level Status in anticipation of the 100% passenger capacity on land-based public transportation as the country starts to reopen the economy, Transportation Secretary Art Tugade said.
“Converting from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 1, masasabi ko ‘ho na sa mga nagawa at gagawin pa namin, handa ang Department of Transportation and we support the move to lower to Alert Level 1, following the guidance and mandates of the IATF,” Sec. Tugade said.
Tugade presented before President Duterte and Cabinet members on Monday the road-based transport programs and projects to address the heightened need for public transportation as more businesses are allowed to operate at full capacity.
According to Sec. Tugade, an additional 71 routes with 8,729 public utility vehicle (PUV) units set to be opened before March 15, 2022 to augment the current 1,514 routes with 118,238 operating units in the NCR.
Sec. Tugade added that the “nationally-accepted” Service Contracting Program, which allows the operation of “Libreng Sakay” and regular payouts for PUV operators and drivers, will continue to be implemented. The Service Contracting Program gets a P7 billion funding under the 2022 General Appropriations Act (GAA).
“Marami nang Senador at Congressman ang nag-eendorse ng ‘Libreng Sakay’ dahil nakita ‘ho nila that the public accepts this Libreng Sakay,” he said.
A total of P2.5 billion was likewise allocated for fuel subsidies for 377,443 beneficiaries. Each beneficiary will receive P6,500 worth of fuel subsidy, according to Sec. Tugade.
The EDSA busway, which Tugade stressed, has increased the mobility of commuters by “moving people” has significantly reduced travel time between Monumento in Caloocan City and Pasay City from 2 to 3 hours to just 40 to 50 minutes.
In support of active transport, the DOTr will also add more bike lanes throughout the country. So far, the DOTr has completed a total of almost 500-kilometer networks in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao, he said.
Under an Alert Level 1 status, all establishments will be fully operational and public transportation will be at full seating capacity.
For intrazonal and interzonal travels involving public land transportation between an area with a higher alert level classification and an area under Alert Level 1, the passenger capacity shall be that which has the lower passenger capacity rate between the point of origin and point of destination. The use of acrylic and/or plastic barriers is also not required.