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19 July 2020
Petron Corporation extends fuel subsidy for DOTr Free Ride Service for Health Workers Program until July 31
MANILA – Petron Corporation, an oil company that has partnered with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to help with the transportation needs of medical frontliners during the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) health crisis, has extended its fuel subsidy for participating vehicle units in the Free Ride Service for Health Workers Program until July 31, 2020.
The extension of the fuel subsidy follows the decision of the government to extend the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) over Metro Manila until July 31, 2020, with the continuous increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country.
DOTr Undersecretary for Administrative Affairs Artemio Tuazon Jr. expressed his gratitude for the continued support being given by Petron Corporation to the department’s effort to provide frontline health workers with comfortable and convenient transportation during the GCQ.
“The extension of the fuel subsidy is a welcome development. Secretary Tugade, and the whole of DOTr, are grateful for Petron’s generosity to extend the assistance until July 31 for this greatly helps our health workers, especially now that the NCR and its neighboring regions remain under GCQ,” Usec Tuazon Jr. said.
Since April 7, 2020, Petron Corporation has been providing free fuel to vehicles of transport companies participating in the DOTr Free Ride Service for Health Workers Program in the Greater Manila Area. The program aims to ferry frontline health workers to hospitals and medical communities daily, as the country continues its fight to contain the spread of COVID-19.
As of July 17, 2020, Petron Corporation had provided the Program with 255,000 liters of diesel fuel worth Php7,913,500.00.
Petron’s fuel subsidy was made possible through the donation of San Miguel Corporation (SMC) Infrastructure.
Petron has assured that it will be providing 60 vehicles participating in the DOTr’s Free Ride Service for Health Workers Program with 50 liters of fuel each per day, or a total daily allocation of 3,000 liters daily until July 31, 2020.
Four Petron stations (4) were initially assigned to accommodate participating private bus units carrying frontliners. These Petron stations are located at Filinvest in Alabang, Macapagal Blvd. in Parañaque City, East Avenue in Quezon City, and in Mandaluyong City.
The DOTr Free Ride Service for Health Workers Program, which started on 18 March 2020, is a collaborative effort between the DOTr and various government agencies, as well as private transport companies to ferry frontline health workers since the start of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Aside from Petron, the DOTr also teamed up with other oil firms such as CleanFuel and Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc., which also extended their respective fuel subsidy programs until May 31. The other oil companies that have provided fuel subsidies were Seaoil Philippines and Total Philippines.
On 17 July 2020, the program reached 1,354,378 in total ridership nationwide.
18 July 2020
EDSA busway takes form with delivery of additional concrete barriers
MANILA – The EDSA busway is in the process of taking form as a dedicated lane for buses along Metro Manila’s major artery with the scheduled delivery of thousands of concrete barriers in the coming weeks and months, starting today, 18 July 2020.
A joint project of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the EDSA busway was designed to allow faster travel time for commuters.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the continuous development of the EDSA busway shows the DOTr’s committment to provide commuters with an efficient and safe transport mode amid the current health crisis affecting the country.
“Pinabilis natin ‘yung delivery ng mga concrete barriers sapagkat nagsimula na ‘ho tayo ng interim operations. Kinakailangan nating siguraduhin na ligtas at maayos ang ating busway para sa mga commuter. Ayaw nating biguin ang ating mga kababayan lalo ngayon na mas dumarami ang nakikinabang sa benepisyo nito,” the transportation chief said.
In total, the DOTr has procured 36,000 concrete barriers, which will be established to segregate the bus lanes, located on the innermost lanes of EDSA, from the other lanes of the highway.
A total of 9,000 units will be initially delivered from July 18 to 22, 2020, while the other 27,000 units will be delivered in three parts (9,000 units each) every after 15 days thereafter.
As a result of the transparent and efficient procurement process, government was able to save up to Php16.2 million. The barriers were procured at Php4,300 per piece, compared to the Php4,750 per piece approved budget for the contract of the Inter-Agency Technical Working Group, based on the initial quotations submitted by contractors.
Additionally, the agency was able to cut down the expected delivery period from 155 days down to 72 days.
Meanwhile, DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark Steven Pastor said the concrete barriers will be installed along EDSA immediately upon delivery.
“As per the directive of Secretary Tugade, we will fast-track the completion of the EDSA busway together with other concerned agencies. The delivery of barriers will be along EDSA already so mailalagay na rin natin ang mga ito upon receipt,” Asec. Pastor shared.
On 01 July 2020, the interim operations of the EDSA busway started, with 550 bus units authorized to use it.
The EDSA Busway aims to significantly cut travel time from Monumento, Caloocan to the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) from the usual 2 to 3 to just 45 minutes to 1 hour.