DOTC launches “Oplan Ligtas Byahe: Undas 2012”

An October 24, 2012 press release from the Department of Transportation and Communications

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya today launched DOTC’s “Oplan Ligtas Byahe: Undas 2012” as part of its continuing program to provide travelers with Convenient, Affordable, Reliable, Efficient and Safe travel experience this All Saints’ Day holidays.

The implementation of the program will run from October 26 to November 5, Abaya said at the launching of the program today at NAIA T3, attended by the heads of the 20 attached agencies under DOTC. Help Desks will be set up in airports, seaports, bus terminals, and major roads around the country where there will be an expected increase in ridership and vehicle traffic.

“This is the time of the year that the Filipino people return to their hometowns to pay homage and remember their departed loved ones,” Abaya said. “As in the previous year, DOTC in cooperation with its attached agencies are ensuring that our people can have safe and convenient sea, land and air travel during this season.”

Abaya made rounds at NAIA Terminal 1 and 3 to check on ongoing rehabilitation and preparations of airport personnel in ensuring convenient and proper security measures will be adopted starting this weekend, when the people return to their hometowns to observe Undas.

“I’m satisfied with what I have seen today and confident that our air travelers will have the convenience and ease in reaching their destinations,” Abaya added.

According to DOTC data, airports that should expect a surge of passenger volume, aside from Metro Manila, are Cebu, Davao, Bacolod, Iloilo, General Santos, Puerto Princesa, Zamboanga, Tacloban, Tagbilaran, Laoag, Cagayan de Oro, and Kalibo.

Seaports that are expected to be flocked by a high volume of passengers are Manila North and South Harbor, Batangas, Calapan, Matnog, Zamboanga, Tagbilaran, Roxas, Cagayan de Oro, Dumaguete, Ormoc, Surigao, Romblon, Iligan, among others.

Bus terminals with a high level of passenger traffic during passenger seasons are Araneta Center-Cubao, Edsa-Kamuning, Pasay, and Sampaloc in Manila.

The OTS will be inspecting all major airports, seaport and bus terminals to ensure the safety of all passengers. It will deploy K9 units in all airports, seaports and bus terminals to ensure that no bombs or other deadly weapons will get its way to any public transport vehicle.

DOTC Micro Site

The DOTC will reactivate its micro site, oplanligtas.org, where all the activities of its attached agencies will be coordinated.

It is also reactivating its Facebook (LigtasKwaresma), Twitter (@DOTCPhilippines), and YouTube accounts, where the public can check travel information and can post their views and travel experiences during the Undas.

Managing expected surge in travelers

Land

Random drug testing among public utility bus drivers will again be conducted in bus terminals starting Monday, where there is expected heavy passenger volume.

Since early this month, the LTFRB started accepting requests for special permit for out of line trips for Metro Manila and provincial buses to cater to the increase of the volume of passengers going in and out of Metro Manila.

According to Atty. James Jacob, LTFRB chairman, they have already issued 60 out of 423 applications filed by bus operators. He added that the number of special permits is expected to go up before Undas as they are still evaluating other applications.  There are 7,368 provincial buses travelling daily from various destinations. These special permits will be used from October 30 to November 4.

Notwithstanding the special permits issued for PUBs, the LTFRB, together with law enforcement agencies, will be intensifying its drive against colorum vehicles.

A joint force of LTFRB and LTO MVIS personnel will inspect PUB terminals in Araneta Center, Cubao; EDSA-Kamuning, Pasay and Sampaloc, Manila.  They will be inspecting the PUBs for roadworthiness, safety, convenience of passengers, cleanliness and reliability.

The TRB, for its part, will ensure that there will be smooth flow of traffic in all toll highways around the country.

According to TRB Executive Director Edmund Reyes Jr., they will be deploying ambulances in strategic points along the tollways. There will also be a presence of the Philippine Red Cross in these highways to provide first aid in case of traffic incidents.

He also said they would strictly impose speed limit in all the toll highways.

Ambulant cashiers will also be deployed to facilitate faster processing of vehicles through the toll gates.

On rail, DOTC said there will be no disruption in the services of MRT and LRT systems although security will be heightened and ambulances will be deployed in MRT North Avenue and Shaw Blvd. Stations.

DOTC will give special attention on LRT R. Papa station, which is expected to be teemed with visitors to the nearby North and Chinese cemeteries.

For PNR, instead of 3 trips, it will raise to 4 the number of trains for its Manila-Ligao and Manila-Naga and vice versa routes from October 29 to November 1.  It will also set up Help Desks at its stations in Tutuban, Pasay, España, Biñan, Calamba, Laguna, and Naga City.  These help desks will be manned by nurses to provide first aid to ailing passengers.

Air

Help desks and public assistance counters will likewise be set up in NAIA and other major gateways in the country, including in Cebu-Mactan and Clark airports.  Airport authorities will intensify security and conduct more visible and frequent security monitoring of all facilities in airports, in cooperation with police forces.

NAIA General Manager Jose Angel Honrado said they have had an agreement with airline companies that the latter will open their check-in counters at least 3 hours before the scheduled flight to avoid delays of flight, considering the high volume of passengers this season.

Honrado also said that with CAAP’s Coordinated Arrival System, there has been an 85% improvement in airline performance, resulting to better management of takeoffs and landings. He added that this system will help minimize flight delays during Undas.

At Mactan-Cebu International Airport and Clark International Airport, help desks will be set up at the departure and arrival areas.  Additional personnel shall be deployed for the whole duration of the Oplan.

Sea

The Philippine Coast Guard and Marina will likewise activate Passenger Assistance Centers and conduct safety inspections in all seaports and terminals.

Marina OIC Administrator Atty. Nic Conti said Marina will ensure that there will be enough vessels to service the higher volume of passengers.

There will be a thorough inspection of the proper storage of cargo inside all vessels to prevent sea mishaps due to improper storage of cargo.

Atty. Conti likewise ordered the strict implementation of an order that all passengers of buses boarding Ro-ro ships must go down the buses while inside the vessel for proper security checks.

He also said Marina would be strictly inspecting against overloading/overcrowding and colorum vessels. He added that vessels imposing higher fares during Undas than usual will be penalized.

Rear Admiral Luis Tuason Jr OIC and Commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard said they will deploy sea marshals in all major ports in order to quickly respond quickly in cases of emergency.

dotc.gov.ph

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