PUBLIC Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar is confident that once completed by 2022, the Luzon Spine Expressway Network project would reduce by eight hours the travel time from Northern provinces to Southern areas and vice versa. 

The Luzon spine network consists of 18 road projects that are existing, ongoing, about to finish, and some that are about to start this year.

Among the major features of the project is the 25.83-km Tarlac-Pangasinan La Union Expressway (TPLEX) section 3 covering Urdaneta City in Pangasinan to Rosario, La Union and the 54-km. TPLEX extension from Rosario to San Fernando also in La Union.

Once the Rosario alignment is finished, travel time from Manila to Baguio will be reduced to three hours.  

Another project being fast tracked by the DPWH is the 65.7 km Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEx) that will connect North Luzon Expressway to the eastern side of the Luzon.

Meanwhile, the widening of 4.75-km section of Radial Road (R10) will reduce travel time between Manila and Navotas City from one hour to 30 minutes and will also help to decongest EDSA traffic.

Read more: New expressway to cut travel time by 8 hours

TO AVOID any possible conflict and to make their operations as transparent as possible, Malacanang has advised three indigenous peoples (IP) schools to get permit to operate from the Department of Education (DEpEd).

Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Ana Maria Paz Banaag made the appeal in the wake of an earlier threat by President Duterte that he would ‘bomb’ the schools if they are found to be a haven for some subversive elements.   

The schools that reportedly caught the President’s ire are Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development (Alcadev); the Center for Lumad Advocacy and Services; and the Salugpongan Community Learning Center- which are believed to be under the influence and have become training grounds by some anti-government and left-leaning groups.

Banaag also stressed that Duterte does not intend to bomb the children or students of these schools but he was only referring to the structures.

Furthermore, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Restituto Padilla Jr. said that it is unlikely that Duterte will order them to bomb the schools.

“His pronouncement is just a strong message to the people behind these organizations operating illegal educational centers to comply with government regulations” he said.

 

Read more: Palace advises IP schools to secure permit

PPA, BOC resolve row on MICP, South Harbor

THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) have reached an agreement in the interpretation of proposed provisions of the draft Customs Administrative Order (CAO) regarding jurisdiction over container yards and facilitation of permits within the South Harbour and the Manila International Container Port (MICP).

The issue stemmed from several provisions in the draft CAO allowing BOC to establish temporary storage for overstaying and abandoned cargoes within container port terminals that are under the jurisdiction of the PPA.

“The PPA and BOC have discussed each others’ requirements and are working together to address the need of Customs…

Read more: PPA, BOC resolve row on MICP, South Harbor

Diokno: No mass layoffs of state employees

BUDGET Secretary Benjamin Diokno has assured that the quality of public service will not be sacrificed even if the proposed rightsizing of state employees is approved and implemented.

Diokno was reacting to Congress’ approval on third and final reading House Bill 5707 or the Rightsizing the National Government Act adding it will not result to mass layoffs of state employees.

“Primarily, the Rightsizing Program is a reform mechanism that aims to enhance the government’s institutional capacity. Moreover, the program is not about outright downsizing” Diokno said. 

“Rather, it is designed to arrive at the appropriate structure and size of…

Read more: Diokno: No mass layoffs of state employees

Free medicines for the poor pushed

By Maria Elyza Silva 

ONE of the tough and troubling situations that the poor has to endure is the deprivation of the right to obtain proper care and free medical treatment whenever they get sick.

In fact, one of the more popular sayings in the country ‘sa Pilipinas bawal ang magsakit’ although said in jest effectively summarizes the real and unfortunate situation of health care system in the country. 

Thus, in a bid to promote optimum health and well-being for every Filipino, Tarlac 2nd District Rep. Victor Yap has filed a bill seeking to provide free medicines for marginalized…

Read more: Free medicines for the poor pushed

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