PNoy visit sea terminals in Metro Manila in preparation for Holy Week


Authorities have taken the necessary preparations to help ensure a safe and convenient travel for the millions of Filipinos who will make their way to the provinces for the Lenten break.
Secretary Mar Roxas stated this today after Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) officials accompanied President Benigno Aquino III for an on-site briefing of preparations being taken for the Holy Week travel of Filipinos.
The chief executive and DOTC officials also made the rounds today to inspect major land, air, and sea terminals in Metro Manila.
The President and DOTC Secretary visited and inspected the Manila North Harbor, Pier 2, in Tondo, Manila; Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3; and Cubao bus terminal.
“This shows how committed the government [is] in ensuring the safety of our people as they return to their hometowns or head to their respective destinations in observance of the annual Holy Week,” Roxas said. “Dahil ‘Kayo ang Boss,’ nais naming matiyak na ligtas at maaasahan ang pagbibiyahe ng ating mga kababayan ngayong Kwaresma.”
At the Manila North Harbor, the President and Sec. Roxas inspected the facilities and security procedures, especially how passengers and cargoes are checked, before boarding the vessels.
They boarded MV St. Michael Archangel, a commercial vessel with passenger capacity of 1,929, docked at Pier 2 and scheduled to depart at 3:00 p.m. The ship is bound for Bacolod City, then to Iloilo City and Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental.
The President and Sec. Roxas also checked if there are enough lifesaving devices on board like life jackets, life rings, firefighting equipment, and other emergency gadgets.
The DOTC also directed all airports and seaports, as well as bus terminals to visibly post the passengers’ ten Bill of Rights in using all modes of public transport this Lenten season.
“As stipulated in the Passenger Bill of Rights, all travelers must have access to necessary emergency equipment while on board the vessel; lifesaving jacket to passenger ratio, for example, must at least be one is to one,” Roxas said. “The personnel manning the vehicle must also be equipped with radio communications device, fire-fighting equipment, and other related rescue devices.”
Philippine Coast Guard figures show that 147,000 passengers boarded more than 1,000 vessels that sailed to various destinations nationwide over the past 24 hours (from April 1, 6 a.m. to April 2, 6 a.m.).
Both executives then proceeded to the NAIA, where they inspected security check-in procedures at Terminal 3, including the condition of the facilities of the terminal.
They toured the whole domestic area to check security procedures at main entrances and check-in counters, and briefly talked with passengers to know their travel concerns.
The significant improvements at NAIA Terminal 3 impressed Sec. Roxas and President Aquino. “We are gradually improving facilities in the airport to better serve our people especially during occasion[s] like observance of Holy Week.” Roxas said. “We want to advise our people to allot more time when they travel this Lenten season. Don’t make the travel plans [at the] last minute to avoid the crowd and reach their destination as planned.”
For their third and last stop, the President and Sec. Roxas proceeded to the Cubao bus terminal, where they inspected the random drug testing procedures being conducted by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Land Transportation Office (LTO) for bus drivers, and the security procedures on passengers, baggage, and cargoes.
The random drug testing, first conducted by the LTFRB/LTO on bus drivers during last year’s observance of Undas, is now a regular part of DOTC’s Oplan Ligtas Byahe program to ensure roadworthiness and safe travel for holiday travelers.
“We are making random drug testing a regular part of our Ligtas Byahe program to make sure that our bus drivers are fit to bring passengers to their destinations safely,” Roxas said. “We are doing this to ensure the safety of our bosses: the Filipino travelers.”
At the Cubao bus terminal, the LTFRB conducted pre-departure briefings to 30 drivers; 11 were also subjected to the breath analyzer test to check their alcohol level, whereas 30 drivers volunteered for drug testing.
To ensure the roadworthiness of buses, a pre-departure inspection was conducted by the LTFRB on 50 units of Florida Bus Line, 20 units of Raymond Bus Line, 10 units of Farinas Transit, and 5 DLTB buses. The Board discovered and prevented several buses from operating due to minor defects including six buses with worn-out tires, four with broken windshield, and two being out of line.