2 buses halted; 15 of 70 drivers fail drug tests-A A +A
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
RUNDOWN and defective buses will be kept from plying their routes to keep travelers safe as they head home for the long weekend, two transport officials said.
Speaking at yesterday’s 888 News Forum at Marco Polo Plaza, Directors Raul Aguilos and Ahmed Cuizon said they supervised roadside random drug tests and lectures at the Cebu South Bus Terminal yesterday morning, then inspected some units.
Aguilos is the regional director of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7, while Cuizon heads the regional office of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
During inspection, Aguilos ordered two passenger buses impounded because these are too dilapidated. Two other buses were ordered to stop plying their routes unless their defects are fixed.
“Roadworthiness test on passenger buses is being done once a year before these vehicles are registered with LTO. It is the obligation of the transport operator to maintain roadworthiness of their buses,” Aguilos said.
In the random roadside drug test yesterday morning, Aguilos said that 15 out of 70 drivers of buses, mini buses, jeepneys and multicabs were found positive of using an illegal drug.
Results of the drug tests done in the afternoon were not available as of press time.
Cuizon advised transport operators to refrain from requiring drivers to work beyond their capacity, otherwise this will affect their driving performance.
He said that sometimes drivers use illegal drugs to overcome fatigue.
Also yesterday, the chief of police of the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) assured the vessel passengers’ safety in Cebu’s ports during the peak travel season for All Saints and All Souls’ Days.
“As we maintain a zero crime rate at Cebu ports, we can assure the traveling public that they are safe when embarking and disembarking from vessels,” said police chief Glenn Sarrador.
He said that Public Assistance Centers or help desks are now at Piers 1, 2 3 in connection with “Ligtas Biyahe Undas 2012”.
When told about Rep. Pablo John Garcia’s comment that the entire fleet of Jegan’s Liner should be suspended and not just three units, Director Cuizon said the LTFRB’s decision was based on laws and not on political affiliation.
“I respect and I have high regard for Congressman Garcia, but I want to tell him that the suspension of only three buses of Jegan’s belonging to one and the same franchise is based on LTFRB Memorandum Circular No. 2011-004 or the Revised Terms and Conditions of the Certificate of Public Convenience,” Cuizon said.
Garcia had asked if the law was interpreted liberally in favor of the Yaphas, who are now allied with the Liberal Party. A bus owned by the Yaphas hit a concrete wall in Toledo City, Congressman Garcia’s district, last Saturday night. Seven passengers died and more than 40 others suffered injuries.
Cuizon said that before, the entire fleet of a bus company was, indeed, suspended if one vehicle got into an accident. But at present, LTFRB only suspends the vehicles in one franchise.
“Imagine if we will suspend the other six units of Jegan’s that are still in good running condition. We will deprive the people of Toledo City and Pinamungahan of their means of transportation for 30 days,” Cuizon said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 01, 2012.