By March 23, 2021Opinion, Punchline

Petition PRRD to stop Bocaue scheme

By Ermin Garcia Jr.


 THE plan of LTFRB to detour Pangasinan residents intending to travel to Quezon City and back via Bocaue terminal can only benefit no one except the investors of the Bocaue terminal and DOTr officials that endorsed the scheme.

Let’s take a look at the needless costs to the passengers without benefit.

  1. TRAVEL TIME – At least an additional 45 minutes for unloading at the terminal, purchase of new ticket and registration for contact-tracing, and boarding of bus (assuming bus trip is available every 15 minutes) and 45 minutes travel time assuming there are no bottlenecks on EDSA since the more buses from Bocaue will be passing through EDSA). TOTAL: 1 HOUR, 30 MINUTES! (It’s a different and worse situation if buses to Manila are directed to stop in Manila instead of Cubao).

Effectively, the travel time for a passenger from Dagupan/Lingayen to Quezon City via Bocaue will at least be 7 hours! (Pre-pandemic travel via TPLEX was 5 hours 30 minutes travel time plus Bocaue stop travel)

Before SCTEX and TPLEX came about, bus travel was already averaging 6-7 hours.

Passengers are forced to travel for 7 hours AGAIN like they did more than 10 years ago!

  1. ASSISTANCE – Passengers traveling with 2-4 boxes will necessarily need to engage services of utility persons. Under the point-to-point (Dagupan-Cubao) trip, passenger would only require assistance twice. Under the Bocaue scheme, passenger will have to spend four times for that service (loading in Dagupan/unloading in Bocaue/loading in Bocaue/unloading in Cubao).
  2. ADDED FARE – Passengers will be paying more fares because the distance between Bocaue and NLEX entry is 7 kilometers which otherwise would not be paid for in point-to-point Pangasinan-QC.
  3. VEHICULAR VOLUME – The volume of buses on EDSA will not be decreased with the use of the Bocaue terminal because the same number of buses will have to ferry commuters brought to the Bocaue terminal. The P2P operations pre pandemic already improved vehicle volume along EDSA.

Evidently, the only gainer in this scheme is the Bocaue terminal. Each bus that enters and leaves the terminal from both the north and south pays a fee!

The only effective transfer scheme to reduce vehicular volume entering NCR is to use a bus-train transfer scheme, NOT a bus–bus transfer, employing a one-pass ticket both rides.

Pangasinan’s officialdom, congressmen and mayors should petition President

Duterte to stop the Bocaue scheme because it only serves the profit objective of the terminal’s investors (and some DOTr officials).

Absolutely no benefit to passengers!

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CAYETANO’S PRO PEOPLE BILLS. The House of Representatives under immature Speaker Lord Allan Velasco is, as perhaps can be expected, is not listening to any bill, proposal or suggestion from his predecessor former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano regardless of urgency during the pandemic.  

Take Cayetano’s proposed P10K financial aid for seniors, jeepney and bus drivers who lost their livelihood, single parents, persons with disabilities, etc., it has not even been scheduled for a committee hearing. Instead, Velasco rushed his Constitutional amendment bill to prompt politicians to rush to him to curry favor. Cayetano asked him to suspend hearings on constitutional amendments amid the pandemic because the country is still in a crisis. Velasco only relented when surveys showed Filipinos did not favor the timing of the issue, just as Cayetano pointed out. 

Fortunately, Cayetano’s proposed creation of the Department of Overseas Filipinos was already passed during his incumbency as Speaker. The planned department will prioritize, plan and implement needs of overseas Filipino workers and their families that. The counterpart bill in the Senate is now being discussed.  

His DOFIL bill is actually a national version of the Espino administration’s program for OFWs here. What the DOFIL offers is to provide local governments easy access to national government’s services and facilities as primary constituents.  

Cayetano was easily impressed with the progress of the provincial government’s program for OFWS and their families.   

Let’s hope DOFIL is created soon so our government can provide more support to our OFWs still fighting to survive the pandemic away from home, and those who have been suddenly displaced by the pandemic and sent home with no livelihood to secure them. 

Another Cayetano bill that was fortunately passed before Speaker Velasco took over was his House Bill No. 5989, or the proposed Disaster Resilience Act, seeks to create the DDR, an agency dedicated to disaster preparedness, prevention, mitigation, response, recovery and rehabilitation. 

This is under deliberation now at the Senate.

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TAGUIG VS DAGUPAN.  The Taguig City government is doing something that many cities, including Dagupan City can only dream of. It has set aside funds that will enable city residents to choose their preferred vaccines, i.e., Covovax, Covaxin, AstraZeneca, Moderna in addition to Sinovac and Sinopharm which gov’t will provide.

Dagupan City’s Lim administration said it has allocated a measly P10-M to be offered to its residents. Why only P10M? The Fernandez administration left aP1B surplus for his administration hopefully to continue the city’s advocacy programs for health and education. Perhaps, I’m missing something but nothing has been heard from the city hall about any health program.

Anyway, since that press release came out last December 2020 nothing has been heard about its purchase, for how many vials and for what vaccine.

Is it possible that the P12-M allocation was already diverted to another unscheduled expenditure? This is one budget/expense item from the P1M-B surplus fund that Mr. Brian Lim will have to account for in 2022.

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VACCINE TALK – What vaccine is safe?  

That is a tricky question because only the individual person will know how his or her body will respond to the vaccine.  

What is true is, all the vaccines will protect anyone from COVID-19 infection. 

All things considered, there has been no negative report on Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines. No deaths. No major side effects.  

What is a fallacy is the claim that vaccines that used dead virus (Sinovac, Sinopharm and Indian vaccine) are not effective and point to their low efficacy. What the propagandists for western pharma are not saying is that the low efficacy provides for natural body systems to work with the vaccine.  Western-made vaccines have higher efficacy because these targets the virus directly and instantly without regard to individual’s capacity to absorb it, hence reports of major side effects.     

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The PUNCH family and I sincerely condole with the surviving members of the Zuñiga family in Dagupan City over the passing of a father, husband and brother – Wilfredo.

Willy, who was my classmate throughout Grade school at the Blessed Imelda’s Academy   (except Grade 5), served as the PUNCH’s circulation manager during the Martial Law era.

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