Local Roundup: • DoTr scales down NCR rail operations • Courts remain closed • Erap moved to ICU

The Department of Transportation said over the weekend that rail operations in Metro Manila will be scaled down starting Monday as its personnel continue to undergo testing for COVID-19.

MRT TRACER. An MRT-3 employee installs   QR codes on a  train wagon, which will be used on Monday, April 5, 2021, for the soft launch of the contact tracing App TRAZE on the line. Passengers are required to scan the QR code three times on the MRT-3: at their entry station, train coach boarding, and exit station. MRT and other state-run railways will resume downscaled operations today. 

“We should not compromise the health, safety, and security of the traveling public and our working people. That is a non-negotiable position,” Transport Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said.

The management of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) said it will be operating on a limited scale with only 10 to 12 trains to be dispatched starting today (Monday).

The trains will be operating with a limited capacity of 372 passengers per train set or 124 passengers per car to comply with the predetermined number of passengers per station.

The LRT-2 line meanwhile will be dispatching five trains on its limited operations. Displaced passengers will be accommodated by bus routes 9 and 10.

LRT-1 will be dispatching 17 trains on its limited run. Affected passengers will be accommodated by buses running on Route 17 (Monumento-EDSA).

Meanwhile, the management of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) has announced that it will be suspending its operations until Thursday, April 8, 2020.

Courts remain closed

The Supreme Court has extended the physical closure of all courts in the National Capital Region and the provinces of Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite and Rizal until April 11 after the national government decided to prolong the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) for one week starting today, April 5.

In Administrative Circular No. 15-2021, Acting Chief Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe also directed that the offices of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) and the Sandiganbayan to maintain “a skeleton staff, as may be necessary, to attend to all urgent matters, including the payment of salaries, during this period.”

“All hearings in these courts during the said period, except on urgent matters (such as but not limited to petitions, motions and pleadings in relation to bail and habeas corpus, promulgation of judgments of acquittal, reliefs for those who may be arrested and detained during this period, and other related actions that may be filed in relation to measures imposed at the local or national levels to address the declared health emergency during this period), are suspended,” the Court said.

Ombudsman office shut for cleaning

The Office of the Ombudsman has closed its operation from April 5 to April 8 to pave the way for disinfection.

“As a precautionary measure, the Office of the Ombudsman in Quezon City will be closed from 05 to 08 April 2021 to give way to the cleaning, disinfection and fogging of its work stations and premises to ensure the health of all concerned,” its Twitter post.

Erap sedated, moved to ICU

Former President Joseph Estrada, who tested positive for COVID-19, was moved to the ICU Sunday, his son, former Senator Jinggoy Estrada said in a post on Facebook.

“While he needed to be placed on high flow oxygen support, we are thankful that there has been no need to put him on a ventilator,” the younger Estrada said.

“However, he is being sedated to lessen his anxiety which may affect his heart and aggravate his condition. Thus, he has been moved to the ICU for closer observation.”

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