Motoring News

ICYMI: 8,000+ trees felled for SLEX expansion, Makati hop-on hop-off buses, new LTO head named

Quick recap before the week ahead
Motoring news from May 29 to June 4, 2023
PHOTO: Department of Tourism and Department of Transportation on Facebook, Adobe Stock, Paulo Rafael Subido

Villacorta replaces Tugade as head of LTO

“The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has announced a new officer-in-charge for the Land Transportation Office (LTO). Atty. Hector Villacorta now leads the agency ‘in a concurrent capacity’ after Jay Art Tugade’s resignation took effect on June 1.

“So, who is Atty. Hector Villacorta? He is also the DOTr’s assistant secretary for communications, a role he will continue even as OIC of the agency. Prior to that, he was the former secretary of the Commission on Appointments, and he also served as chief of staff of former Senate majority leader Vicente ‘Tito’ C. Sotto III. In LTO’s new leader was also an administrator for the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO).

Makati City now has hop-on hop-off tourist buses

Image of the Philippines Hop-On Hop-Off bus set to provide tours in Makati City

“The Department of Tourism (DOT) has introduced the first-ever hop-on hop-off (HOHO) bus tour in the country, offering a seamless and contactless transport and tour booking system.

“There are plans to expand the project to other key destinations across the country, but Makati City was chosen for the pilot implementation. Agency head Secretary Christina Garcia Grasco said the tours ‘provide opportunities for our tourists to not only experience the modernity and innovation Makati is known for, but also to discover the soul of the city—the hidden gems, museums, and many other stops covered by this tour. It allows domestic and international tourists to truly get to know the people, rich history, culture, and heritage of Makati.’

“The DOT-NCR team has curated suggested itineraries for each stop, providing visitors with a range of options. The cost of the tour will be approximately P1,000 per person. There will be a dedicated website offering essential information, a reloadable EMV-capable card, and a mobile app. The app will facilitate booking tours, making cashless payments, providing GPS-networked bus-arrival monitoring, video guides, and information on hotels, food, and tourism merchants.

“Preparations are already underway for the launch of the Philippines Hop-On Hop-Off in the City of Manila, the cultural heart of the country. Both the Makati and Manila Hubs will be fully operational in June 2023.”

At long last, Mitsubishi is coming back to the compact SUV segment
Honda Dax e: now available for P80.9k, Zoomer e: for P83.9k at Popcycle Ebike Center

Four-car trains set to boost MRT-3 capacity to 500,000 passengers

“The DOTr has announced that it is increasing the trains on the MRT-3 line from a three-train to a four-train setup. This will significantly increase its daily capacity, which is currently inadequate given Metro Manila’s public transport demand.

“This will allow more passengers to traverse the length of EDSA, complementing the convenience offered by the EDSA Bus Carousel,” said Secretary Jaime Bautista of the DOTr. “More passengers will be accommodated by MRT-3, increasing significantly its daily ridership into more than half a million (500,000) passengers a day.” The estimated current capacity of the MRT-3 is 350,000.

“Included in the DOTr’s new agreement with Sumitomo Corporation—which was also the original designer, builder, and maintenance provider of the train line—for the rehabilitation and maintenance of the MRT-3 is the extension of the Taft pocket track, to be able to accommodate four-car trains. The MRT-3 currently operates 18 three-car trains.

“The DOTr gave no timeline on when the four-car trains will start operations. But they cannot come soon enough.”

8,000+ trees felled to make way for SLEX expansion

“The DOTr and the San Miguel Corporation (SMC), with permission from the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office, are cutting down a whopping 8,766 trees to make way for road widening on the South Luzon Expressway. Look:

“There will be no mercy for these lush trees—7,237 planted and 1,529 naturally grown to be exact—and the operations began earlier this year. The government agencies appear to be ready for questions, as it put up a huge announcement in SLEX about the tree-cutting efforts. 

“The permit claims the tree-cutting action was ‘requested by the DOTr, TRB-SMC SLEX Corp., covering the Road Right of Way of South Luzon Expressway located along the Expressway within the area of jurisdiction of the municipalities of San Pedro, Biñan, and Santa Rosa, Laguna.”

tree cutting permit along slex

Preview and specs: What to expect when the Omoda 5 EV lands in PH this year
1982 was a damn good year for car launches

“The permit, issued February 10, 2023,  is ‘subject to pertinent forestry laws, rules, and regulations including the terms and conditions embodied in Annex A which also forms part of this permit.’

“Over 10 years ago, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) took pride in its tree-planting operations in the area, as part of the agency’s efforts to meet its target to reforest 1.5 million hectares between 2011 and 2016.

“According to the DENR statement in October 2012, some 1,370 Philippine native tree seedlings of Palawan cherry, balitbitan, and caballero were planted at the 26th and 27th kilometer (southbound) of SLEX. At least 7,400 tree seedlings, mostly narra seedlings, were also planted in October 2010 along SLEX’s 57th kilometer stretch going to the Calamba exit.”

LTO removes stencil requirement for registration renewals

“Car owners will now have one less thing to worry about when renewing their vehicle’s registration: The LTO) has now removed the stencil requirement for all ‘plain renewal’ transactions.

LTO Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2023-2399, issued on May 22, 2023, reads: ‘Consistent with the policy of the [LTO] to streamline its processes to ensure the effective and efficient delivery of its services to the public in line with the provisions of R.A. 11032, known as the ‘Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act,’ the stencil of the engine and chassis numbers of a motor vehicle shall no longer be required for ‘plain renewal’ registration transactions.”

“This, however, will apply provided that the vehicle had already passed the physical inspection certifying its roadworthiness. The details in its Certificate of Registration (CR) such as the plate number, the make, and the year model should also match that of the actual vehicle.

“‘All memoranda, circulars, orders, and other issuances in conflict or inconsistent herewith are hereby superseded, amended and/or repealed accordingly.’”

See Also

Watch now
PHOTO: Department of Tourism and Department of Transportation on Facebook, Adobe Stock, Paulo Rafael Subido
  • Quiz Results

  • TGP Rating:

    Starts at ₱

    TGP Rating:
    Starts at ₱