Thursday, 13 March 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Sunday, March 9, 2014

Philippines joins search for missing Malaysian Airlines

The Philippines joined efforts of its neighboring countries in searching for a Malaysian Airlines airplane that went missing while on its way to Beijing, China, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr said on Sunday.

In a press briefing, Coloma said that Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin had issued the directive to the Armed Forces of the Philippines to commence patrol of the West Philippine sea in hopes of locating the missing Malayasian Air plane.

The AFP immediately sent an F-27 plane and the BRP Gregorio del Pilar to conduct a surveillance mission in the West Phillipine Sea in hopes of locating the Malaysian Airlines plane.

The Malaysian airlines plane, a Boeing 777-200, disappeared from radar screens just 40 minutes into its flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in the early hours of Saturday morning. It was last detected over the seas between Malaysia and Vietnam.

“Ayon sa direktiba ni Kalihim Voltaire Gazmin ng Tanggulang Pambansa, ang AFP ay nagsasagawa ng surveillance at patrol sa West Philippine Sea bilang pagtulong sa patuloy na search and rescue operations para sa nawawalang eroplano ng Malaysian Airlines,” Coloma said.

He added the President had been updated of the AFP’s inclusion in the search and rescue mission.

“Ito ay isinasagawa sa pamamagitan ng F-27 plane at ng BRP Gregorio del Pilar at patrol boats ng Philippine Navy. Simula pa kahapon, ayon kay Kalihim Gazmin, patuloy ang koordinasyon sa AFP ng mga defense attaché ng Malaysia at Vietnam sa pamamagitan ng palitan ng impormasyon. Lahat ng mga ito ay naiuulat kay Pangulong Aquino,” Coloma said. PND (rck)

Government agencies remain committed towards improving public transportation

Concerned government agencies remain committed towards improving public transportation in Metro Manila with the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) recent decision to cancel the franchises of two erring bus companies that figured in a fatal accident along EDSA last November, Malacañang said on Sunday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. told a press briefing over Radyo ng Bayan that the government continues to uphold the safety and welfare of commuters by keeping a watchful eye on such public utility vehicles.

“Ang pagpapawalang-bisa ng LTFRB ng mga prangkisa na sumasaklaw sa 21 busses ng Elena Liner at 18 units ng MGP Trans ay bahagi ng kampanya upang masiguro ang kaligtasan ng ating mga mamamayan na araw-araw na sumasakay sa mga bus at mabigyan ng hustisya ang mga nasawi at nasugatan sa mga aksidente,” Coloma said in a statement.

He added both the LTFRB and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) also maintain their regular inventory and inspection of the transportation companies’ vehicles to make sure they have the necessary documents to continue their operations.

“Walang humpay ang ginagawang imbentaryo at inspeksyon ng LTFRB at LTO sa mga garahe ng mga pampublikong sasakyan upang masiguro na sapat ang kanilang papeles sa pagbiyahe, kabilang na ang pagsawata sa mga tinaguriang kolorum o mga walang kaukulang prangkisa upang makapamasada,” he said.

In addition, the government has been making substantial improvements on the country’s major thoroughfares, and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has toughened its traffic management by providing more closed circuit television cameras across the city.

Malacañang has also repeatedly asked drivers of public vehicles to exercise extreme caution at all times whenever they ply the country’s busy roads and always abide by traffic rules and other regulations.

At least seven people died and 38 were injured when an Elena Liner bus crashed into an MGP Trans unit at the EDSA-Magallanes loading bay in November 14, 2013. It was found out that MGP Trans was operating illegally as it was not yet registered with the LTFRB and LTO at the time.

Elena Liner and MGP Trans were just two of the many bus companies sanctioned by the LTFRB after being involved in a string of deadly road mishaps bridging the last quarter of 2013 and the first two months of this year.

The LTFRB issued a 30-day suspension against Mayamy Transport Corp. after one of its buses caused multiple injuries to five passengers after crashing through a center island along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City in broad daylight last week.

Last month, the LTFRB also suspended all 228 busses of GV Florida Transport Inc. when one of its units plunged into a ravine in Bontoc, Mountain Province, resulting into 15 fatalities and 31 injuries.

The infamous Don Mariano Transit also had its operations canceled by the LTFRB in January due to several violations in light of the December 16 Skyway accident that killed 22 people and wounded 20. PND (hdc)