Friday, 9 May 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Friday, April 11, 2014

Government working to ease burden of Metro Rail Transit users, says Palace

The Palace on Friday asked Metro Rail Transit (MRT) users for more patience as the government awaits the arrival of new coaches that will ease congestion in MRT stations.

“Humihingi po kami ng paumanhin at pang-unawa sa ating mga kababayan sa kanilang dinaranas na sakripisyo araw-araw. Habang hinihintay ang pagdating ng mga bagong bagon, patuloy na sisikapin ng pamahalaan na maibsan ang problemang ito,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said in a statement he read during a press briefing in Malacanang.

Coloma was responding to criticisms by MRT users on the long queues of passengers, especially at the North Avenue station and the EDSA -Taft Avenue station.

He said he has received some suggestions from users of the MRT prepaid card on how to improve train service.

One of the suggestions, he said, is to allow passenger turnaround. According to the suggestion, passengers going north to Quezon City could board at the Buendia and Ayala stations, or those going south could board at the GMA station and be allowed to turn around.

The suggestion noted that the MRT management had allowed the turnaround of passengers in the past, and implementing it again, even for just one hour during peak hours in the morning and evening, would ease the long queues in the stations.

Another suggestion is to give the MRT maintenance contractor performance targets, in the hope of increasing the number of train coaches, he said.

Coloma promised to forward the suggestions to the DOTC-MRT-3.

According to the latest information from the Transportation Department, new coaches for the MRT could be operational next year. PND (as)

Power restored in 25 remote barangays in Davao Oriental, says Palace

Power has been restored in 25 remote barangays in Davao Oriental which have been left without electricity since December 2012 in the aftermath of typhoon Pablo, a palace official said Friday.

The 25 barangays are from the municipalities of Cateel, Boston and Banganga in Davao Oriental, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

Coloma said that according to the National Electrification Administration (NEA), the construction of power lines began last March 3 and was completed on March 29.

Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla last February 26 promised the full restoration of power in the 25 barangays within 45 days.

Coloma said Petilla has accomplished his promise earlier than expected. PND (ag)

Government eyes start of mass transport projects within President Aquino’s term

The government hopes to jump-start a number of Metro Rail Transit (MRT) projects within the term of President Aquino to ensure a more efficient transport system in Metro Manila, a Palace official said on Friday.

“Sisikapin ng administrasyong ito na masimulan iyan. Mayroon kasi tayong obligasyon sa lahat ng mga darating na henerasyon na gawin ‘yung nararapat sa panahon ng ating panunungkulan,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a press briefing.

“Kahit naman hindi matapos sa panahon natin, obligasyon pa rin natin na paghandaan ‘yung mga pangangailangan sa kinabukasan.”

Coloma said the Aquino administration acknowledges the need for an efficient and effective mass transport system to enhance the economic activities of the country, especially in Metro Manila.

Among the projects that are already in the pipeline is the MRT-7, which will run from North Avenue, Quezon City to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, he said.

Another is the extension of MRT Line 1 and the addition of coaches to anticipate the growing number of MRT users, he added.
Coloma said the construction of these major infrastructure projects will be done through public-private partnership (PPP).

He earlier appealed to commuters to have more patience as the government works on improving the services of the MRT.
He said additional train coaches will be made available next year.

A few weeks ago, the government reopened a ferry service along the Pasig River as it begins construction of major infrastructure projects in the city, which could result in traffic congestions. PND (as)