After years of unsettled disputes, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) – Land Transportation Office (LTO) on December 9 signed a one-year phase out agreement with STRADCOM, LTO’s IT provider since 1998.

The agreement was laid down to allow LTO to subscribe to a new IT service provider covering hardware, software, and data component requirements of the agency, and to give STRADCOM time to turn over of the source code and database to the government.

In the agreement, DOTr Sec. Art Tugade made sure that STRADCOM shall do its part in helping the smooth migration of data and computer operations to the next IT provider of the LTO. DOTr explained that it will take one to two years to change an IT provider as it will include data migration.

Bidding processes and conditions shall also be set within the one-year provision of organizing and transferring of data.

DOTr in turn agreed to settle the PHP8 Billion debt of the government to STRADCOM, given that STRADCOM shall properly observe payment rules set by the Commission on Audit (COA).

DOTr likewise agreed to allow STRADCOM to join the bidding as it is open to all qualified bidders who are capable to provide the requirements set in the Terms of Reference.

Expiration in 2013

The procurement of the PHP8.2 Billion LTO IT system was ordered in 2011. The following year, the Department split the contract into two, due to the bidders' failure to qualify for the project's broad scope. The contract for software and data components was worth P3.4 billion, while hardware component contract was for P4.8 billion. But the bidding was delayed when the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (QC RTC) issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) due to internal ownership disputes in STRADCOM.

In February 2013, STRADCOM's contract expired while the TRO was still in effect. To avoid disruption of transactions and reversion to manual operations, the government extended STRADCOM's contract through emergency procurement under the provisions of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

The QC RTC lifted the TRO in the same year and ruled that the government may proceed with the bidding for a new IT service provider. The Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's decision in March 2016.

Benefits of the new LTO-IT System

The new LTO-IT system aims to provide a sustainable solution to address the current system’s issues.

When it finally interlinks with the automation system of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the government will be able to eliminate cases of PUVs securing an LTFRB franchise without LTO registration, as well as PUVs that are registered with the LTO but does not have an LTFRB franchise. It will also make it easier for authorities to recover stolen vehicles, trace smuggled vehicles, prevent double registration and monitor unregistered vehicles.

Ikinatuwa ng Department of Transportation ang pag-usad ng proyektong “pedestrian bridge” na magdudugtong sa NAIA Terminal 3 at Newport City.

Sa pamamagitan ng tulay na ito, maari nang bumaba sa Newport City ang isang pasaherong may biyahe sa Terminal 3 at gamitin ang pedestrian bridge sa halip na umikot ang sasakyan sa rotunda sa dulo ng Andrews Avenue.

Maari itong makabawas ng sasakyan sa Andrews Avenue.

May elevator mula sa baba na kakabit sa Newport mall patungo sa pedestrian bridge.

Airconditioned ang pedestrian bridge at may walkalator ito sa kabuuang 220 metro.

Ayon sa Travellers International Hotel Group na syang gumawa ng proyekto, ang kapasidad ng pedestrian bridge ay 2-libo katao. Sa isang araw kaya nitong mag lipat ng 216-libong katao (216,000 people).

Kapag nabuksan na sa Abril 2017, ito ay libre sa publiko, at bukas 24 oras, 7 araw kada linggo.

Sa inspeksyon ni DOTr Sec Art Tugade at DPWH Sec Mark Villar kanina, idiniin nila ang kahalagahan ng kaligtasan sa paggawa at siguraduhing hindi makaka-antala sa trapiko ang konstruksyon.

In anticipation of the heavy volume of passengers this Christmas, airport officials have laid down measures to ensure safety and convenience of passengers nationwide.

A slot management system is being enforced to make sure airlines depart as scheduled. The system has helped improve the on-time performance (OTP) of airlines, effectively reducing incidents of flight delays. At the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the OTP of airlines improved from 47% to 71% since the new administration took over.

A two-minute waiting time is also being implemented for people fetching passengers at the airport. Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Ed Monreal appealed to the public to refrain from turning arrival gates into a parking area.

"Kailangan po talaga magtulungan tayo dito," said Monreal at a press briefing today.

To improve the flow of traffic to and from the NAIA, Monreal said MIAA is now coordinating with Villamor Airbase to allow passengers to pass through and decongest traffic especially along Andrews Avenue. Security issues are currently being discussed.

The MIAA is also hopeful that the stretch of NAIA Expressway covering Terminal 3 will open in December.

Capt. Jim Sydiongco, Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, also reported that Legazpi, Dumaguete, Roxas, and Caticlan airports are now night-rated. Night landing capabilities will enable airports to accommodate flights after sunset.

In terms of safety and security of passengers, the MIAA will deploy an additional 97 security personnel at the NAIA. The PNP is also ready to augment the airport's security force should it become necessary.

Nine (9) suspects of "salisi" incidents in the NAIA were also presented to the media to show how serious authorities are in ensuring safety of passengers. Since January, a total of 57 "salisi" incidents were reported, wherein 20 have been apprehended.

Monreal also warned airport personnel from asking gifts and favors from passengers this Christmas.

"I have no problem with personnel greeting passengers a 'Merry Christmas,' as long as there is no intention to ask for gifts," he said.

For those who will be found guilty of the act, he warned: "Kapag may nanghingi ng regalo, hindi na yan aabot ng Pasko. Definitely may disciplinary action."

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Monday announced that returning Overseas Filipino Workers, whose tickets were purchased abroad, will be exempted from paying terminal fee by March 2017.

During the “Kapihan sa Manila Hotel” organized by Samahang Plaridel yesterday morning, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal said that airlines have agreed in principle to automatically relieve OFWs who purchased their return tickets to the Philippines abroad from paying terminal fee.

Currently, the P550 terminal fee of returning OFWs are integrated with their ticket fee, and is refunded through MIAA refund counters in Philippine airports, which somehow causes inconvenience to OFWs.

“Airline have already agreed in principle, so, hopefully by March 2017, mawala na ang pangamba ng ating mga OFWs sa pagbabayad ng terminal fee,” Monreal said.

Monreal explained that the exemption will be fully implemented by March 2017 to give airlines time to update their programs and systems for this policy.

The DOTr, MIAA, and airline companies is yet to enter into a memorandum of understanding to formalize the agreement.

This announcement came on the back of other accomplishments of the DOTr in the aviation sector.

Among these achievements is the enforcement of a slot management system to ensure that flight departures are on time. The system has improved the on-time performance of airlines at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport from 47 percent to 71 percent since the new administration took over.

To address traffic congestion in the airports, MIAA is also coordinating with Villamor Airbase to allow vehicles to pass through, especially along Andrews Avenue.

A two-minute waiting time is also being implemented for people welcoming and sending off passengers at the airport.

“Kaugalian ng mga Pilipino na kahit isa lang ang aalis eh napakarami nang naghahatid. Isinasaayos natin ‘yan,” Monreal said.

Capt. Jim Sydiongco, Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, also boasted of the addition of Legzapi, Butuan, Dumaguete, and Caticlan airports to the country’s night-rated airports. Roxas airport will also be able to accommodate evening flights before Christmas.

Importance of Emergency Powers

In the same forum, DOTr officials also reiterated the need for emergency powers to push for further improvements in the transportation sector.

DOTr Assistant Secretary for Communications Cherie Mercado assured the public that the Emergency Powers sought for will expedite service delivery, and will not be abused.

“Emergency Powers was proposed to get projects moving fast. May mga safeguards tayo dyan [such as] Congress oversight, TROs/injunctions to be filed only in the Supreme Court, and its compliance with the FOI,” Mercado said.

Mercado also guaranteed that the Department, led by Sec. Arthur Tugade, continues to perform while waiting for the emergency powers to be granted.

“Si Sec. Tugade ay nagtratrabaho nang tahimik. [He] is a man of accomplishments. He’s impatient for accomplishments, but he’s also a man of transparency.”

Transport officials and delegates from the 10 Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gathered today for the opening of the 42nd ASEAN Senior Transport Officials Meeting (42nd STOM).
The STOM, which works under the direction of the ASEAN Transport Ministers, held plenary sessions to discuss various projects and policies designed to enhance regional cooperation, particularly in the aspect of transportation. The meetings will run until November 16. Within this period, STOM officials will also hold separate sessions with this year’s dialogue partners: China, Japan, and Korea.

Among the topics to be discussed is the implementation of short and medium term work plans under the Kuala Lumpur Transport Strategic Plan (KLTSP), the transport blueprint for 2016 – 2025. The KLTSP is an important pillar of the ASEAN Economic Integration, which aims to make the region stronger and more competitive.

Transportation Undersecretary Garry de Guzman, acting STOM Leader for the Philippines, highlighted the role of transportation in making the ASEAN community integrated.

“It is through transportation projects and policies that we make this region a little smaller and a lot more united. By building transportation networks and connecting our cities by air, land, and sea, we empower different industries and businesses. More importantly, we empower our people,” de Guzman said.

Other transportation projects in the agenda include the establishment of an ASEAN Roll-on Roll-off Shipping Network, ASEAN Single Shipping Market, ASEAN Single Aviation Market and other air services agreements, and development of sustainable transport-related policies and strategies.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, ATM Chairman, underscored how these efforts are consistent with the direction taken by the Duterte administration in terms of transportation infrastructure.

“The Philippine government concurs to the fact that the failure to invest, means failure to grow and develop our social and economic fabric,” Tugade said. “We’re using the battle cry build, build, build, which aims to solve issues on lack of employment, high price of goods, traffic, and transportation. The Philippine government aims to build more railways, urban mass transport, airports, seaports, more bridges and roads, and new and better cities.”

After STOM plenary sessions and discussions with dialogue partners, the ATM will convene from November 17 – 18 to adopt recommendations made by the senior transport officials.

14 November 2016