• ‘Oplan Biyaheng Ayos’ in place for Semana Santa

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    The Department of Transportation (DOTr) ordered all frontline agencies to ensure that their action centers are open 24/7 and instructed them to be on heightened alert during the Lenten season for its Oplan Biyaheng Ayos.

    HOLY WEEK EXODUS Passengers flock to the Araneta bus terminal in Cubao, Quezon City, as they try to get a seat on a bus to their home provinces to spend the Holy Week break with their families. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

    The Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will conduct a thorough inspection of buses to ensure road worthiness of vehicles and safety of passengers.

    The LTFRB has already issued 1,153 special permits to bus operators to accommodate the expected increase in the number of passengers, the DoTr said.

    The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) will deploy additional personnel at toll plazas where traffic build-up is anticipated. If toll plaza queuing reaches 500 meters, reversible and additional entry or exit lanes will be opened and vehicular counter flow may be facilitated. Emergency medical teams, water trucks, and tow trucks will be deployed for prompt response in case of road crashes and accidents.

    From April 12 to 17, all road works and construction activities in expressways will be suspended, except ongoing major road infrastructure projects.

    A two-minute unloading rule will also be implemented in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to prevent congestion, the Manila International Airport Authority said.

    The Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority also created a Task Force to supervise security and safety operations during the Holy Week. The Airport Police Division will be placed on red alert status, information and public assistance counters will be activated, and taxi complaint slips will be distributed to cab passengers.

    Meanwhile, a nationwide random inspection of passenger ships is being conducted from April 7 to 17 by the Maritime Industry Authority to ensure compliance with rules and regulations, particularly the “No Overloading of Passengers and Cargoes” policy.

    The Philippine Ports Authority also directed its port managers, cargo handling operators, and passenger terminal building operators to ensure maximum security, safety, and convenience of passengers. Passengers will be strictly screened while ship agents are required to regularly update ship arrival and departure schedules. First aid services will be made available in the ports on a 24/7 schedule.

    LRT 1 and 2 and MRT 3 will cease operations from April 13 to 16 to make way for yearly maintenance work, the DoTr said. Operations will resume on April 17.

    QC on alert mode

    Meanwhile, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista on Friday placed all law enforcement personnel including police, traffic, rescue and barangay officers on alert mode to ensure the orderly and peaceful observance of Holy Week in the city.

    Bautista ordered the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) to secure bus terminals and other passenger holding areas and set up police assistance centers and conduct 24/7 foot, mobile and motorcycle patrols.

    Bautista also ordered the deployment of patrol cars along all residential areas and places holding the traditional cenaculo and pabasa. The city government recently acquired 50 patrol cars for the purpose.

    He also instructed the QC Department of Public Order and Safety to coordinate closely with QCPD for the Holy
    Week security and law enforcement operations.

    The City Rescue Team will also be mobilized to respond to any emergency situation that may arise during the Holy Week break.

    Bautista also enlisted the support of the city’s village security development officers for the maintenance of peace and order.

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