MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is set to conduct inspections of transportation hubs with President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday ahead of the expected exodus of people heading back to the provinces for the Holy Week.
“In line with ‘Oplan Ligtas Biyahe: Kwaresma 2014,’ DOTC Secretary Joseph Abaya will join President Aquino in inspecting various air, land, and sea transport facilities in Metro Manila Wednesday, to ensure smooth and seamless operations during the Holy Week,” DOTC said in a statement Tuesday.
“As part of our duty to provide safe and convenient transportation to the public, the DOTC has instructed all transport agencies to take necessary measures to ensure security at our terminals and stations, quick response capability in cases of emergencies, and enhanced facilities and services to meet the needs of our travellers during this peak season,” Abaya said in the statement.
DOTC has deployed additional personnel in airports, seaports, bus terminals, and highways to better ensure passenger safety and to respond faster to any incidents.
“Public assistance desks and first-aid stations have been put up to attend to complaints and medical issues. Simple facilities such as charging stations and additional seats are also being activated, to improve the convenience of travel,” the statement said.
“The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) have been on a heightened alert status, with both agencies conducting regular inspections at bus terminals and garages. A number of bus units have been prevented from plying due to lack of roadworthiness,” it said.
To make up for the buses of G.V. Florida bus line that were suspended, LTFRB has issued 594 special permits which include additional special permits for bus lines plying routes in the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, and Cordillera Regions, DOTC said.
“In maritime transport, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is imposing stricter security checks at port facilities, while the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) conduct routine seaworthiness checks on ships,” the statement said.
DOTC assured the public that real-time information on transport incidents, cancelled flights, and expressway traffic situation will be disseminated on social media to assist the public throughout the Holy Week.