To keep the public safe during their annual journey to the provinces for All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has ordered an intensified activation of Malasakit help desks at all transport hubs nationwide.
The directive is in line with the conduct of “Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Undas 2019,” which will be ready to provide the public with assistance on their annual trek to the provinces from Oct. 25 to Nov. 4.
Expecting the heavy influx of passengers, commuters, and motorists to various destinations across the country during ‘Undas,’ MHDs shall serve as a one-stop-shop for passenger assistance in airports, seaports, train stations, and land terminals.
The assistance will range from handling transport-related inquiries, complaints, and requests for assistance such as TNVS/taxi booking; facilitating refund of terminal fees; providing attestation of the cause of trip cancellation or delays; delivering emergency medical assistance; to accepting reports of possible security threats, among others.
MHDs will also be distributing Malasakit Help Kits especially to pregnant women, women with children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities (PWDs).
These kits contain drinks and light snacks, battery-operated fans, face towels, foldable fans, wet wipes, hand sanitizer of permitted volume, and ballpens, among others, that are meant to make travel more comfortable.
Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade said the importance of heightened activation of MHDs throughout the country.
“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. Gawin nating maginhawa at maayos ang kanilang paglalakbay (A lot of Filipinos travel during this season and we don’t want to be lacking in providing them assistance. Let’s make their travel easier and convenient),” Tugade said.
The DOTr reminded that students from elementary until college levels, including those enrolled in technical and vocational schools, are exempt from paying terminal fees in airports operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), as well as seaports managed by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).
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 under its purview. Medal of Valor awardees and their dependents will also have their terminal fees waived at all PPA-operated seaports and all four terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Ahead of the Oplan, Tugade thanked DOTr attached agencies that are in the front lines of ‘malasakit’ service.
“Pauna ‘ho akong nagpapaabot ng pasasalamat sa ating mga ahensya para sa inaasahang pagpapaigting ng serbisyo-publiko sa darating na Undas. Ipakita ‘ho natin ang ating malasakit sa ating mga kababayan (Thank you for the public service this coming Undas. Let’s provide them assistance),” Tugade said.
The participating agencies for the “Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Undas 2019” include the Manila International Airport Authority, CAAP, Civil Aeronautics Board, MRT-3, Light Rail Transit Authority, Philippine National Railways, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Land Transportation Office, Toll Regulatory Board, PPA, Cebu Ports Authority, Maritime Industry Authority, Philippine Coast Guard, and Office for Transportation Security.