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Free EDSA Carousel rides a priority program of UniTeam, says Bongbong Marcos

Press Releases
6 January 2022

STRESSING that the program has been very beneficial to millions of essential workers and commuters, presidential aspirant Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. will make the free rides at the Edsa Carousel Bus route permanent once he and his running mate Mayor Inday Sara Duterte are elected in the coming May 9 national elections.

In a recent interview, the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) standard bearer said that he is always on the lookout for programs and initiatives that will benefit millions of Filipinos and become major game changers as far as governance is concerned, just like what his father former President Ferdinand E. Marcos did for millions of Filipino workers who now get to enjoy their 13th month pay every Christmas.

The younger Marcos stressed that the government should continue the Free Ride Program at Edsa Carousel because it is “a big help for essential and frontline medical workers, especially now that there is a resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the country”.

"I am appealing to the government to institutionalize the free bus rides and give our kababayans a leg up in their journey towards recovery.  For some, this has become a lifeline, a means to augment their income," said Marcos.

According to the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB), up to 31 million commuters have benefited from the program.

"The savings people will get from this would allow them to spend more on their daily needs such as food for their families.  I hope that the government will be able to give this 'gift' to the people,” he added.

“Mahal na mahal po namin ni Inday Sara ang taga-Metro Manila kaya pareho kaming nananawagan sa pamahalaan na sana’y ituloy uli ito.  Ipinapangako naman namin na sakaling kami ang palarin ay hinding-hindi namin ito ihihinto dahil napakagandang legasiya nito para sa administrasyon ng Pangulong Duterte,” said Marcos.

Last week, the LTFRB announced that the 'Libreng Sakay Program’ for essential workers and Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR) on the EDSA Carousel bus ended on December 22.

According to the LTFRB, the program has already used up the funds allocated from the 2021 General Appropriations Act.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) even tried to request another P10-B fund for the continuation of the free rides and service contracting program for 2022, but the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) rejected the appeal.

The EDSA Carousel is a bus route with select stations and dedicated bus lanes with concrete barriers that spare them from the usual heavy traffic along Edsa.

Its regular route runs along the entire length of Edsa from Monumento to PITX-Paranaque and vice versa.

Its operation started on June 1, 2020 when the entire Metro Manila was placed under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Because it is free and convenient, the program is enjoyed by commuters who are also grateful because they can arrive in their respective destinations faster.

Each carousel bus commuter saves an average P100 in fare per day, which is an equivalent of P3,000 per month.

“Kung mabibigyan po ako ng pagkakataon ng makapaglingkod bilang pangulo ay titiyakin ko po na lahat ng aking iisipin at gagawin ay para sa ikabubuti lamang ng sambayanan,” Bongbong pointed out.

“Katulad din po ng aking ama na ang mga ginawa sa panahon ng kanyang panunungkulan ay nakikita at napapakinabangan pa ng ating bansa at mga kababayan hanggang ngayon gaya na lang nang isabatas niya ang 13th month pay law,” Bongbong added.

To recall, the elder Marcos is universally recognized as the man who mandated and required all employers to pay their employees their 13th Month Pay by virtue of his Presidential Decree 851 which he signed on December 16, 1975.

In his explanatory note, the former president said that it is necessary to protect the level of real wages from the ravages of worldwide inflation; as there has been no increase in the legal minimum wage rates since 1970.

He added the Christmas season is an opportune time for society to show its concern for the plight of the working masses so they may properly celebrate Christmas and New Year.

As a result, millions of both government and private sector workers from then on until now are still reaping the benefits brought by PD 851.

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FILIPINO VERSION

BBM: FREE EDSA CAROUSEL RIDES GAGAWING PERMANENTE NG UNITEAM

PLANO ng BBM-Sara UniTeam na gawing permanente ang libreng sakay sa Edsa Carousel Bus pagkatapos nilang manalo sa darating na halalan.

Ito ang binigyang-diin ni Partido Federal ng Pilipinas standard bearer Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr., kasabay ng pagsasabing napakaganda ng programang ito na malaking tulong at kapaki-pakinabang sa milyong bilang ng mga essential workers at commuters sa Metro Manila.

Sa isang panayam, sinabi ni Marcos na palagi niyang pinagtutuunang pansin at binibigyang pugay ang mga programang nakatutulong sa mamamayang Pilipino.

Tulad ng 13th month pay na natatanggap tuwing araw ng Kapaskuhan na nilagdaan ng kanyang amang si dating Pangulong Ferdinand E. Marcos, Sr., - aniya ang Free Edsa Carousel Rides ay isang proyektong tunay na mapapakinabangan ng ating mga kababayan.

Sinabi ng batang Marcos na napapanahong ipagpatuloy ang Free Ride Program o Edsa Carousel dahil napakalaking bagay nito sa makabagong bayani ng bansa tulad ng mga essential frontline medial workers, lalo ngayong tumataas na naman ang Covid-19 cases sa bansa.

"I am appealing to the government to institutionalize the free bus rides and give our kababayans a leg up in their journey towards recovery.  For some, this has become a lifeline, a means to augment their income," ani Marcos.

Sa ulat ng LTFRB, umabot sa 31 million commuters ang nakinabang sa naturang programa.

Napakalaking tulong aniya nito hindi lamang sa pagpapabilis sa biyahe sa Metro Manila, kundi malaki rin ang natitipid ng ating mga kababayan.

"The savings people will get from this would allow them to spend more on daily essentials such as food for their families.  I hope that the government will be able to give this 'gift' to the people,” dagdag pa nito.

Sinabi ni Marcos na napagkasunduan nila ng running-mate niyang si Inday Sara Duterte na sakaling manalo sa 2022 national elections, magiging prayoridad at ipagpapatuloy nila ang magandang programang ito ng Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte.

“Mahal na mahal po namin ni Inday Sara ang taga-Metro Manila kaya pareho kaming nananawagan sa pamahalaan na sana’y ituloy ito.  Ipinangangako naman namin na sakaling kami ang palarin ay hinding-hindi namin ito ihihinto dahil napakagandang legasiya nito para sa administrasyon ng Pangulong Duterte,” dagdag pa ni Marcos.

Nitong nakalipas na linggo, inihayag ng Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) na ang 'Libreng Sakay Program’ sa mga ‘essential workers’ at ‘Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR)’ sa EDSA Carousel bus route ay nagtapos na nitong Disyembre 22.

Ayon sa LTFRB, nagamit na ng programa ang pondong nakalaan mula sa 2021 General Appropriations Act. 

Tinangka pa ng Department of Transportation (DOTr) na humiling muli ng P10-billion fund para sa pagpapatuloy ng ‘Libreng Sakay’ at ‘service contracting program’ para ngayong 2022, ngunit hindi ito pinaboran ng Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Ang EDSA Carousel ay ruta ng bus na may piling ‘stations’ at ‘dedicated bus lanes.’ Ito iyong may harang na ‘concrete barriers’ para ihiwalay ang daloy ng trapiko sa regular na ruta sa buong kahabaan ng Edsa mula Monumento hanggang PITX-Paranaque o vice versa.

Nagsimula ang operasyon nito noong Hulyo 2022 nang isailalim sa ‘general community quarantine’ (GCQ) ang buong Metro Manila.

Dahil libre at walang bayad sa pasahe, tinangkilik ito ng mga empleyadong mananakay na labis ding nagpapasalamat dahil napabilis din ang kanilang biyahe.

Nabatid na nakatitipid ng mahigit sa P100 ang bawat commuter ng Carousel bus na dati’y gumagastos ng mula P13 hanggang P61 kada isang pasada.

At kung dalawang beses silang libre sa pasahe araw-araw mula bahay hanggang opisina at opisina hanggang bahay, umaabot din sa P3,000 ang natitipid nilang gastos sa loob ng isang buwan.

“Kung mabibigyan po ako ng pagkakataon na makapaglingkod bilang pangulo ay titiyakin ko po na lahat ng aking iisipin at gagawin ay para sa ikabubuti lamang ng sambayanan,” wika pa ni Marcos.

“Katulad din po ng aking ama na ang ginawa sa panahon ng kanyang panunungkulan ay nakikita at napapakinabangan pa ng ating bansa at mga kababayan hanggang ngayon, gaya na lang nang isabatas niya ang 13th month pay law,” dagdag pa nito.

Magugunitang ang nakatatandang Marcos ang nasa likod sa pag-oobliga sa lahat ng employers na bayaran ng 13th month pay ang lahat ng kanilang empleyado sa bisa ng Presidential Decree 851 na nilagdaan niya noong Disyembre 16, 1975.

Sa kanyang ‘explanatory note,’ sinabi ng dating Pangulo na “ it is necessary to protect the level of real wages from the ravages of worldwide inflation; as there has been no increase in the legal minimum wage rates since 1970.”

Idinagdag nitong ang araw ng Kapaskuhan ang tamang oras para maipakita sa lipunan ang kahalagahan ng mga uring manggagawa para higit silang magdiwang at magsaya tuwing araw ng Pasko at Bagong Taon.

Dahil dito, milyong bilang na manggagawang Pinoy mula sa gobyerno hanggang pribadong sektor ang patuloy na nagbebenepisyong handog ng PD 851.

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