18 May 2021
AS DOTr, SM GROUP START CONSTRUCTION OF STATE-OF-THE-ART CONCOURSE
MANILA – A major transformational initiative of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), under the leadership of Sec. Art Tugade, is now underway as Metro Manila’s busiest thoroughfare will get a major facelift following the start of construction works of the much-awaited EDSA Busway Concourse today, 18 May 2021.
A jubilant Sec. Tugade expressed his gratitude to stakeholders, including other government agencies and private sector partners, particularly the SM Group, who joined forces in making the project to provide safe and hassle-free travel to commuters a reality
“Taos-puso ang aking pasasalamat dahil sa wakas, makakamit at matitikman na ng publiko ang tunay na pagbabago sa EDSA gamit ang EDSA Busway Concourse. Mas magiging ligtas na ang pag akyat-baba ng mga pasahero sa mga sakayan. Mas kombinyente na rin ang pagsakay dahil magkakaroon pa ng ticket booths, concierge at turnstiles para sa automatic fare collection system. Meron tayong sistema na friendly sa ating mga senior citizens at sa mga persons with challenges and disabilities,” Tugade said in his message during the virtual ceremony of the EDSA Busway Concourse.
The world-class and state-of-the-art EDSA Busway Concourse will provide convenient and safe transport access for commuters, especially those in vulnerable sectors, such as senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PWDs), and pregnant women.
The concourses will have a provision for ticketing booths, Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS) turnstiles, and concierges, which will allow transactions to take place at the concourses before the onboarding of passengers.
To recall, the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the construction of the EDSA Busway concourse was held in November 2020. The SM Group will start the construction of three (3) concourses to be built at SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City, SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City, and SM North EDSA in Quezon City.
The concourses will further boost the efficiency of the EDSA Busway, a joint project of the DOTr, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA). The EDSA Busway was carried out at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in June 2020 to provide seamless movement of high-capacity Public Utility Buses (PUBs).
“Today’s groundbreaking ceremony marks another milestone in the EDSA Busway project. And SM Prime is honored to be part of the government’s effort in further improving the commuting experience of every Filipino,” SM Prime Holdings Inc. President Jeffrey Lim said.
“SM has invested over P120 million for this project. We really aspire to provide a convenient, fast, and safe commuting experience for all Filipinos. The project is slated to start next month June 2021 and the target completion is within 10 months, so by the first quarter of 2022, we hope that everybody can already enjoy this convenient and pleasurable experience of commuting along EDSA,” SM Supermalls President Steven Tan meanwhile said.
For their part, DPWH Secretary Mark Villar and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos heaped praises for Sec. Tugade’s efforts in spearheading the collective effort of bringing faster travel time, comfortable commute, and improved mobility along EDSA amid the pandemic.
“I thank and congratulate Sec. Art Tugade for such a monumental accomplishment. He has really changed the landscape of mass transit, especially in EDSA. It makes me very happy to know that together, we succeeded in converting what used to be a symbol of traffic into a symbol now of what the true leadership of President Duterte brings,” Sec. Villar said.
“There’s a 47.3% average decrease in travel among public utility buses traveling along EDSA from January 2020 to January of this year while there is 89.81% or 9.61 kilometers per hour average increase in travel speed of our PUBs for the similar period. All these figures are the sweet fruit of labor that we’ve long wanted our commuters and motorists alike to experience,” MMDA Chairman Abalos explained.
Moreover, Green EDSA Movement Chairman Eddie Yap said that the EDSA Busway Concourse is targeted to increase the buses plying along the country’s main thoroughfare to more than 500 from the current 200 bus units.
“These reforms provide for a framework for sustainable management of urban traffic congestion and people mobility,” Yap said.
DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Steven Pastor, meanwhile, said that additional concourses will be constructed in other stations of the EDSA Busway.
“Through our private partners, the Double Dragon and Wenceslao Group, ang dalawang susunod na concourses ay located sa Roxas Boulevard at Macapagal Avenue. On top of that, may additional four stations pa sa Buendia, Taft, Roxas Boulevard at sa Tramo,” Pastor said.
20 May 2021
*TUGADE TO LGUs: BOOST ROAD SAFETY CAMPAIGN, INITIATIVES AMID PANDEMIC*
MANILA – Department of Transportation (DOTr) Sec. Art Tugade called for cooperation and solidarity in the promotion of road safety during the Recognition of Road Safety Partners by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) Region 1 today, 20 May 2021.
Attended by more than 70 local government units (LGUs) in Region 1, the virtual recognition is in commemoration of Global Road Safety Week and is part of the Decade of Action for Road Safety.
In his message, Sec. Art Tugade stressed that road safety is one of the important campaigns of the DOTr with as many as 12,000 Filipinos losing their lives every year to road crashes according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
For Region 1 alone, according to the Land Transportation Office (LTO), almost 1,500 road crashes were recorded in 2020. Some 3,700 individuals were also involved in road crashes. Of those involved in road crashes, 177 were killed.
“Hihintayin pa ba natin na mahal natin sa buhay ang maaksidente, masugatan o mamatay? Kailangan bang makurot tayo ng tadhana? ‘Wag po. ‘Pagkat masakit ang mawalan ng mahal sa buhay. Meron ‘ho akong anak na namatay. Ang sakit pong bitbitin. He was then 12 years old, he should have been 46. But up to now, the pain and the hurt of realizing that my loved one is lost is bothering me, has been haunting me,” Sec. Art Tugade said.
“Ayaw ko na unworthy ang mga sasakyan. Ayaw ko ang driver na walang disiplina. Ayaw ko ang mga pedestrian na hindi sumusunod sa batas. Pag dumating si kamatayan at mahal natin sa buhay ang tamaan, malulungkot at maghihinagpis tayo. ‘Wag nating antayin ‘yun. Tama na ang mga aksidente. Tama na ‘yung patay. Tama na ang pag violate sa rules and regulations. Safety is important. Safety is non-negotiable,” the DOTr Secretary added.
Moreover, Sec. Tugade said local leaders have a bigger responsibility in advancing the safety and welfare of their constituents. He also urged the local chief executives of Region 1 to further push for road safety through strengthened cooperation with the DOTr and its attached agencies.
“Anuman ang gawin ng Kagawaran kasama ang LTO at LTFRB, kung hindi ‘ho makikipag kapit-bisig sa amin ang LGU, mahihirapan kami. Ngunit kung tayo’y magkakapit-bisig, ‘yung mahirap ay magiging madali, ‘yung problema ay mawawala. Kaya importanteng magsama-sama tayo,” the Transportation Chief said.
Meanwhile, Sec. Art Tugade also told LGU officials that the DOTr supports the #Love30 campaign, which calls for motorists to drive at a slower speed, specifically 30 kilometers per hour, in crowded areas.
“Mayroong inilunsad na #Love30. Ito ay isang proyekto ng World Health Organization at United Nations na kung saan kinikilala nila na ang kikitil at tatagpas sa buhay ay ‘yung speed. Sana ho magtulungan tayo, hindi lang LTO o LTFRB, kasama natin ang pamahalaang lokal, kapit-bisig tayo. Because we alone cannot do it but together, with the LGU, we can make a difference,” Tugade stated.
Apart from promoting road safety in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sec. Art Tugade also emphasized the need to strictly adhere to health and safety protocols and understand the importance of vaccination.
“Dapat ‘wag nating kalimutan ngayong panahon ng pandemya – ng COVID-19 ‘yung mga tinatawag na health protocols. Usaren tayo ti (Gamiting natin ang) facemask. Usaren tayo ti (Gamiting natin ang) face shield. Maintain natin ‘yung social distancing. Haan tayo mangan (‘Wag tayo kumain), haan tayo ag sao (‘wag tayo magsalita), haan tayo duratatot habang agbyabyahe (‘wag tayong makipag-usap habang nagbibyahe) tayo on public transportation,” Sec. Art Tugade said.
23 May 2021
*CAAP REMITS OVER P21 BILLION IN DIVIDENDS, CONTRIBUTIONS UNDER DUTERTE ADMINISTRATION, SURPASSES P1.3 BILLION TOTAL REMITTANCE FROM 2008 TO 2016*
PASAY CITY – The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) remains steady in its strong fiscal performance after handing over more than P21 billion in remittances to the National Treasury from 2016 to 2020.
For the period mentioned, CAAP, an attached agency of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) remitted almost 20 times more than its total P1.3 billion remittance from 2008-2016 combined. This feat has solidified CAAP’s membership in the ‘Billionaires’ Club,’ an elite circle of government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) that have remitted billions of pesos in dividends and remittances to the national government.
*Below are the exact comparative figures of CAAP’s remittances:*
*2008 – 2016 : P1,362,980,000.00*
*2017 – 2020 : P21,127,789,260.88*
Since 2016, CAAP, as ordered by DOTr Secretary Art Tugade, has consistently turned over billions of pesos in remittances year after year.
The whopping P21 billion in total remittances is broken down as follows: P5.4 billion (2017), P6.2 billion (2018), P3.5 billion (2019), and P6 billion (2020). This is remarkably higher than the agency’s total remittances in the past 8 years before the Duterte administration took office in 2016.
To note, for 2020 alone, CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongco reported that the agency was able to remit a total of P6 billion despite the aviation industry being among the hardest-hit sectors by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Year 2020 has been a rough year for the aviation sector, to say the least. With nations closing borders, airlines facing bankruptcy, to employees getting laid off – we can say that the industry has been on life support. But that did not hinder us from performing our obligations. While we are greatly challenged by a raging global crisis, we remain committed to practice accountability, transparency, and good governance as mandated by the good Secretary,” DG Sydiongco said.
Early last year, Secretary Tugade directed all state-owned corporations of the DOTr, including CAAP, to remit in advance their respective dividends and remittances to support government spending measures amid the COVID-19 crisis and other essential government projects.
Meanwhile, the transportation chief commended the constant strong fiscal performance of CAAP as this will not only help generate resources for COVID-19 efforts and for other projects but will also set a benchmark beyond the term of the Duterte administration.
“Since 2016, CAAP demonstrated how sound and judicious fiscal management should be done in the interest of the public. Now, whoever will take over the agency when we step down in 2022, I am sure that the achievements reached by CAAP, under the leadership of Director General Jim Sydiongco, will be the standard. CAAP has set the bar high,” Secretary Tugade said.