MANILA – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday assured that the country’s public maritime transport is ready for the return of face-to-face classes in August under the multi-agency effort “OPLAN Balik Eskwela (return to school).”

Upang masiguro ang kaligtasan at kaayusan ng bawat biyahero sa nalalapit na pasukan sa Agosto, nakahanda at kasado na ang ‘OPLAN’ Balik Eskwela (To ensure the safety and well-being of each travelers for the beginning of the school year in August, the ‘OPLAN’ return to school is ready and waiting),” the DOTr said in a Facebook post.

It said ports and passenger vessels in the maritime sector have been prepared to address an expected surge of passengers and maritime traffic during the period.

Kaya naman narito ang mga isasagawa ng Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), kabilang na ang mga preventive at response measures, at pagpapatibay at paghahanda ng lahat ng operating units nito sa bansa (That is why the PCG has prepared, including preventive and response measures, to strengthen and ensure the readiness of all of its operating units in the country),” it said.

For passengers with problems or any concerns relating to public transportation, it said 'Malasakit (Compassion)' help desks have been ordered to operate “24/7” in all ports and terminals under the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), the PCG, the Cebu Port Authority (CPA), Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Office for Transport Security (OTS), and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

In June, the DOTr kicked off OPLAN Balik Eswela 2022 with the ‘Child Road Safety Law Enforcement Visibility Day’ to spearhead numerous simultaneous road safety checks throughout the country in cooperation with other government institutions such as DOTr line agencies and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

Local government units, in cooperation with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), have also enacted comprehensive road safety ordinances -- including Quezon City, Tuguegarao City, Ormoc City, and Danao City. (PNA)