DOTC developed a microsite, www.ligtasbyahe.org, for Lenten season

200 px
Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas today launched DOTC’s “Ligtas Byahe: Kwaresma” as part of its continuing program to ensure travelers have a convenient, affordable, reliable, and safe travel experience this Lenten season. The heads of the 20 attached agencies under Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) were present during the formal launch of the program.
DOTC Micro Site
To provide the public with the most updated schedules of land, sea, and air transport mode during the forthcoming Holy Week, the DOTC developed a microsite, www.ligtasbyahe.org, where all the activities of its attached agencies will be coordinated.
The Department also created a Facebook (LigtasKwaresma), and Twitter (@DOTCPhilippines) accounts, as well as YouTube account, to provide the public with updated travel information and post their views and travel experiences during the Holy Week.
“As part of our Kayo ang Boss advocacy, this microsite will allow us to provide the people with adequate [transport] services so they can observe this annual Lenten season safely with their loved ones,” Roxas said.
“We have also instructed key DOTC agencies, such as LTFRB [Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board], PPA [Philippine Ports Authority], airport authorities and PNR [Philippine National Railways] to create their own twitter accounts so they can steadily feed information on matters relating to travel safety through the website,” he added.
Attached agencies under DOTC will have the twitter hashtag #PinoyKwaresma to facilitate public discussion on travel safety.
The microsite will have the following data and visuals:
  • Schedule of land, air, and sea trips
  • Advisories on non-operations of LRT and MRT
  • Philippine National Railway train schedules (Manila-Mayon; Manila-Naga; Manila-Albay)
  • Relevant news and data about passenger rights and safety
  • Attached agencies’ preparation for the Holy Week
  • Videos of inspections by DOTC and its agencies
Similar to previous Oplan Ligtas programs, DOTC is also taking extra measures to ensure passenger safety by thoroughly inspecting every bus, ship, or airplane before these depart from bus terminals, stations, seaports, or airports.
To accommodate the expected surge in passengers during the Holy Week, the LTFRB also issued 222, out of 857 applications filed by bus operators. The remaining 635 applications are still under evaluation. There are 7,368 provincial buses traveling daily from various destinations.
“We expect more passengers to travel this Holy Week season compared with the previous year as indicated by historical data we gathered,” Roxas said.
Random drug testing among public-utility bus drivers will again be conducted in bus terminals where there is expected heavy passenger volume.
Roxas added that travelers particularly those taking ferries from Batangas to Calapan, Mindoro are expected to increase by 100 percent, while those going home to Visayas and Mindanao passing through the Manila Harbor ports are projected to surge significantly.
Land
To manage the projected increase in traffic volume in major superhighways, the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) is deploying additional personnel and volunteers in SLEX, NLEX and SCTEX, where an average of 650,000 vehicles pass through every day. Traffic volume in these highways is expected to be up by an average of 30 percent during the Holy Week.
The PNR’s Metro Manila commuter line will be operational during the Holy Week, except on Good Friday.
The Bicol Express Train 611 Manila-Naga will run with maximized haulage on April 4 (Holy Wednesday) to help meet the influx of passengers going to the province and on April 8, 9, and 10 to service passengers returning to Manila.
Extra passenger trains shall be dispatched from Manila to Ligao City, in Albay, on April 4 (Holy Wednesday) and return on April 8, 9, and 10.
Air
Additional security screening personnel will be deployed and checkpoints will be set up at the four NAIA terminals. There are 200,000 daily passengers at the four terminal and expected to increase by 65,000 during the Holy Week. Security measures in all these airports shall be doubled, especially the screening of bags and cargoes.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) will put up help desks manned by action officers from April 4 to 9 to assist departing passengers. It will intensify security and conduct more visible and frequent security monitoring of all facilities in airports, in cooperation with police forces.
At the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, help desks will be set up at the domestic departure and arrival areas. Additional personnel shall be deployed for the whole duration of Holy Week.
Chance passengers and/or stranded passengers shall be allowed to stay inside the departure area up to the check-in counter to minimize their inconvenience.
At the Clark International Airport, critical areas will be further strengthened, particularly the passenger terminal area. The frequency of roving checks will also be doubled to secure the expected 50 percent increase of passengers.
The Office of Transportation Security (OTS) will be deploying about 40 K9 units in all airports, seaports and bus terminals to ensure that no bombs or other deadly weapons will get its way to any public transport vehicle.
Sea
The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) will conduct random safety inspection of passenger ships. Monitoring teams will be deployed in identified critical ports, particularly in Batangas; Calapan, Mindoro; Roxas City; Caticlan; Matnog; Cebu; Bohol; Maasin, Leyte. All other ports will be guarded and inspected intensively.
The concerned agencies shall also be checking if there is enough life-saving appliances in all public transport vehicles—be it airplane, boat, or bus—like life jacket, life rings, firefighting equipment, and other emergency devices in case any accident happens during the trip.
Aside from ensuring the public’s safety and security, all the attached agencies will check if the public transport vehicles are clean and convenient for its passengers. All terminals should also have clean and properly working amenities, especially their comfort rooms.

Related articles
DOTC, Takenaka signed MOU to make NAIA Terminal 3 fully operational