DOTr orders transport hubs to level up help desk ops for ‘Undas’
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Tuesday said it has ordered all transport hubs in the country to intensify the operations of its “Malasakit Help Desks” (MHD) in time for the “Undas” break.
This is to “keep the public safe in their annual journey to provinces for All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day,” the DOTr said in a statement.
It added that this is also in line with the implementation of its yearly “Oplan Biyaheng Ayos” for Undas 2019, which is aimed to provide assistance to travelers from Oct. 25 to Nov. 4.
The MHDs will serve as a one-stop-shop that would offer travelers assistance such as handling transport-related inquiries, complaints, and requests for assistance such as taxi booking; facilitating refund of terminal fees; providing attestation of cause of trip cancellation or delays; delivering emergency medical assistance; and accepting reports of possible security threats, among others.
The DOTr said the MHDs will also distribute Malasakit Help Kits especially to pregnant women, women with children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities (PWDS). The kits contain drinks and light snacks, battery-operated fans, face towels, foldable fans, wet wipes, hand sanitizers, and pens.
“It is imperative that all our MHDs are properly manned and equipped to address the varied concerns and requests for assistance by the public. Napakaraming Pilipinong bumibiyahe tuwing Undas, at ayokong nagkukulang tayo sa pag-aasiste sa kanila [Many Filipinos travel during Undas and I don’t want for us to fall short in giving them assistance],” Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a statement.
The DOTr also reminded students from elementary to college levels, including those enrolled in technical and vocational schools, that they are exempted from paying terminal fees in airports operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and seaports managed by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).
The PPA also exempts senior citizens, PWDs, and active uniformed personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, and Philippine Coast Guard from paying terminal fees at seaports.
The DOTr added that Medal of Valor awardees and their dependents will also have their terminal fees waived at all PPA-operated ports and at all four terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia). /jpv
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