Improved lactorium at Clark agency reopens

CLARK FREEPORT (CIAC-CCO, October 20) — The Clark International Airport Corp. management recently reopened the lactation room at the corporate office building as part of the Gender and Development projects of the agency for lactating mothers among its employees.

CIAC President Aaron Aquino said the private space lactation room was built in 2016 and just last month ordered the improvement of its facilities.

“CIAC is a nursing mother-friendly environment so necessary equipment and supplies like breast pumps, milk storage bags, mini-refrigerator, portable sink, hand sanitizer, and sterilizers are in place here for staff who are nursing mothers and simultaneously reporting for work,” Aquino said.

The improved lactation room is also open for visitors that may need such a facility, he added, provided that health and safety protocols are followed.

The nursing or lactation room is a need of breastfeeding mothers in the workplace as medical studies have proven that mothers’ breast milk gives babies the ideal nutrition.

Republic Act 10028, or the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act, was signed in 2009 to support, protect and encourage women who are breastfeeding working mothers.

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(4O6A2071 AND 4O6A2075) Clark International Airport (CIAC) Vice-President for Operations IC Calaguas inspects the newly-reopened lactation room for lactating mothers among CIAC employees. The room is part of the Gender and Development (GAD) projects of the agency. (CIAC – CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE)

(4O6A2080) Clark International Airport (CIAC) Vice-President for Operations IC Calaguas (right) inspects the newly-reopened lactation room for lactating mothers among CIAC employees. The room is part of the Gender and Development (GAD) projects of the agency. With Calaguas is CIAC GAD-TWG Head Riza Lozano. (CIAC – CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE) 


18 October 2020

MRT, LRT, PNR to gradually increase passenger capacity to accommodate more commuters starting Monday

METRO MANILA – Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade has instructed the DOTr railways sector to gradually increase the maximum passenger capacity of trains to accommodate more commuters, and to adhere to DOTr’s OPLAN AIR (ADD PUVs, routes, trains, INCREASE speed, capacity, REDUCE travel time, headway). This is pursuant to the decision of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the entire Cabinet to approve the recommendations of the Economic Development Council (EDC) to aid in economic recovery.

In this regard, starting Monday, 19 October 2020, the Metro Rail Transit Line – 3 (MRT-3), the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1), Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2), and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) will increase their respective maximum passenger capacities to 30 percent (%), and will then be gradually expanded up to 50%. The current maximum passenger capacity of these railway lines range from 13% to 18%.

In preparation for the implementation of the increased capacity, social distancing marks inside trains are being adjusted for passengers.

“Our railway lines are preparing for the increased capacity, initially to 30%. Ang bilin po ni Secretary Tugade, dapat po ay dahan-dahan ang pagdagdag sa kapasidad ng mga tren at siguruhing mahigpit na ipatutupad ang 7 commandments upang maprotektahan ang kalusugan ng ating mga commuter,” DOTr Undersecretary for Railways TJ Batan said.

The MRT-3 will be increasing its train capacity initially to 30% with 372 passengers per train set, from the current reduced capacity of 13% with 153 passengers per train set. Once the 50% increased capacity is implemented, the MRT-3 will be able to cater to 591 passengers per train set.

“The increased train capacity is a big help for our passengers. Shorter waiting time and faster travel time will also help them to have better service from the rail line. We will make sure that as we implement the increased capacity inside the trains, we will also strictly enforce our health and safety protocols for the benefit of our passengers,” MRT-3 Director for Operations Michael J. Capati said.

The MRT-3 also increased its train speed to 40kph last 01 October 2020 after completion of the installation of new long-welded rails (LWRs) in all the MRT-3 stations, as part of the massive rehabilitation program of the rail line, which is being implemented by Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy from Japan. Its operating speed will gradually increase from 40kph in October to 50kph by November and 60kph by December 2020.

The LRT-1 line will also be increasing its passenger capacity to 30% and expect that its trains will accommodate 370 passengers per train set. Once capacity is increased to 40%, it will be able to load up to 495 passengers per train set and with 50%, 620 passengers.

For the LRT-2, trains will be able to accommodate 486 passengers per train set at 30% capacity, 652 passengers for 40%, and 814 at 50% capacity.

Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) Administrator Reynaldo Berroya said the increased passenger capacity will ensure that more workers will be brought to their workplaces as Metro Manila and its adjacent areas slowly re-open for business under general community quarantine (GCQ).

“We welcome this new development from the DOTr and we assure compliance. This eased physical distancing rule and increase in train capacity will benefit a greater number of our valued commuters while also supporting the country’s journey towards economic growth and recovery,” LRTA Administrator Berroya said.

For its part, the PNR will be implementing an increase to 30% in the capacity of each of the rail line’s train models.

“We will comply to the directive, nevertheless we have the health and safety of our passengers as priority. We shall obtain the best possible capacity based on the parameters set utilizing optimal means to isolate passengers. While we aim for economic reintegration through the transportation service we also keep in mind the safety of our passengers and employees,” PNR GM Junn Magno said.

As such, at 30% capacity, PNR will be able to accommodate 179 passengers per train set for the DMU ROTEM model; 167 passengers per train set for the DMU 8000; 228 passengers per train set for the DMU 8100; and 302 passengers per train set for the EMU model.

At 40% increased capacity, the DMU ROTEM model can cater to 196 passengers per train set; 182 passengers per train set for DMU 8000; 249 for DMU 8100; and for EMU, 330 passengers per train set.

Once the 50% capacity is implemented, the PNR will be able to serve 212 passengers per train set for the DMU ROTEM model; 198 passengers for DMU 8000; 270 for the DMU 8100 model; and 357 passengers per train set for the EMU model.

In order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 amid the approved increase in passenger capacity, the 7 Commandments inside public transport will be stictly enforced inside the trains.

Train marshals will be deployed in stations and inside the trains to ensure stringent compliance of passengers.

The 7 Commandments are: 1) Wear face masks and face shields; 2) No talking and making telephone calls; 3) No eating; 4) Keep PUVs well- ventilated; 5) Conduct of frequent disinfection; 6) No passengers with COVID-19 symptoms are to be allowed inside the public transportation; and 7) Observe appropriate physical distancing.


17 October 2020

Port of Cebu activates crew change hub, starts accepting seafarers for crew change operations

MANILA – Following the successful dry run to test its operation protocols on Thursday, the Department of Transportations (DOTr) confirms the activation of the crew change hub at the Port of Cebu on Friday, 16 October 2020.

According to DOTr Assistant Secretary for Maritime Narciso Vingson, after several consultative meetings with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for Crew Change, Regional Task Force Central Visayas (RTF-7), and the Cebu Provincial and Local Government Units, the crew change protocol of Cebu has been approved. Further, the Cebu Provincial Government issued Executive Order No. 27 dated 14 October to confirm the activation.

“Cebu is a strategic location for crew change, as it is at the heart of the Visayas. With the approval of the Port of Cebu as a crew change hub, the port can begin to facilitate the process for arriving and departing seafarers coming to and from the Visayas. We thank all our partners, especially the Regional Task Force 7, the Cebu Provincial Government and the Cebu City Government, for their strong and unwavering support since the planning stage. The whole-hearted cooperation and close coordination afforded to the team made the swift activation possible,” Asec Vingson said.

For his part, Office for Transportation Security (OTS) and One-Stop Shop (OSS) Head Raul Del Rosario said that the OSS Cebu has been organized, with the Cebu Ports Authority (CPA) as lead and Secretariat.

“We have established the OSS here in Cebu Port, with the CPA as lead and Secretariat, so that seafarers can undergo a smooth flow of processing, especially in terms of ensuring their health. Mahalaga ho itong OSS upang mas mapabilis at ligtas na makauwi ang mga marino, lalo na ang ating mga kababayang matagal nang nasa laot at sabik na makapiling ang kanilang mga mahal sa buhay,” Usec Del Rosario shared.

Cebu Port Authority (CPA) General Manager Leonilo Miole said that the Port of Cebu will now start receiving requests for crew change from both domestic and foreign-registered vessels.

“This is a milestone not just for the Port of Cebu, our maritime partners, and our seafarers, but also for Cebu, in general, as this is also seen to generate economic activities and revenues,” GM Miole said.

The crew change hub at the Port of Cebu will serve (1) Filipino seafarers joining a ship docked in the Philippines for overseas (outbound), (2) Filipino seafarers leaving a ship (inbound), (3) foreign seafarers joining a ship docked in the port from an airport (airport to ship) and (4) foreign seafarers leaving a ship docked in the port to an airport (ship to airport).

GM Miole has assured the public that safety protocols are already in place to avoid any possible transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during crew change operations.

Based on the crew change protocol approved by the DOTr and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), all arriving vessels at the Port of Cebu will be anchored at the designated anchorage or docking site authorized by the CPA and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

Disembarking seafarers must observe health and safety protocols such as disinfection, handwashing, social distancing and wearing of full personal protective equipment (PPE) – face mask, face shield, gloves and hazmat suit.

On arrival at the Port of Cebu’s OSS facility, seafarers must then immediately proceed to the registration booth and undergo mandatory swab testing procedure.

After completing the OSS procedures, seafarers must immediately board their assigned vehicles that will take them to their designated quarantine facilities as approved by the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) while waiting for the results of their swab tests. The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will be responsible for the Quarantine Facility accommodations of the seafarers while waiting for their swab test result.

For embarking vessel crew members, only seafarers with negative COVID-19 test results and a Certification of Containment will be allowed to board vessels. Health and safety protocols must also be observed by all embarking crew members.

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Regional Office 7, headed by Director Marc Anthony Pascua, is at the OSS to ensure that all concerns of seafarers are addressed. Meanwhile, the PCG Coast Guard District Central Visayas, led by its Commander, RADM Jose William U Isaga, is in-charge of providing service support and maritime law enforcement during crew change operations.

The activation of crew change hubs in the Philippines was directed by DOTr Secretary Tugade to help address the global need for the fresh crewing of vessels, and to ensure the health, safety, welfare and employment of seafarers, as they can only serve on board a vessel without a leave only up to 11 months, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO) 2006 Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).

Crew change hubs in the country will primarily benefit seafarers, who are stranded onboard ships with expired contracts due to imposed travel restrictions due to COVID-19.

Aside from the Port of Cebu, the Philippines also operates crew change hubs at the Port of Manila, the Port of Capinpin in Bataan, and at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

Meanwhile, the ports in Batangas and Davao are waiting for the activation of their respective crew change hubs. ###