Domondon: Regulation vs drunk PUV passengers pushed

CITING a 2007 decision by the Supreme Court of the Philippines that pointed out the dangers of drunk passengers in public utility vehicles (PUVs), City Councilor Joel Alangsab has come up with a proposed measure that would prohibit drunk individuals from riding or boarding any public utility vehicle in the City of Baguio.

In his proposed ordinance Councilor Alangsab pointed out the observation made by the Supreme Court in the case of People of the Philippines vs. Glino, G.R. No. 173793, December 4, 2007 stated thus, “For instance, present law prohibits and punishes only drunk driving. There is no law banning a drunk person from riding a public vehicle, or the driver from allowing a person who appears to be drunk to aboard a public conveyance.

A drunk passenger or one under the influence of liquor or drugs poses a veritable peril to the other passengers. He is prone to react irrationally and violently, due to lack or diminution of self-control. Senseless loss of lives and physical harm can be avoided, and the ring public duly protected, if the potential danger posed by drunk passengers can be addressed.”

The Supreme Court also made the following opening statement in the aforementioned decision thus, “Beware of drunk passengers. They pose danger to life and limb. Merely talking to them or telling them to sit properly can be fatal, as what happened to one of two victims in the case at bar.”

In his proposed ordinance Councilor Alangsab explains that it is high time for the City Government of Baguio to “flex its muscle and regulate the most open mode of transportation in the city to address the abovementioned potential danger as well as to preserve the convenience of our riding public.”

Under the proposed regulation a drunk person is defined as “someone whose physical and mental faculties are impaired by an excess of alcoholic drink. It may be characterized by acting unruly, rowdy, disorderly, loudly, wildly, irrationally, and violently due to lack or diminution of self-control.”

It is also provided for in the said proposed ordinance that “all operators, drivers and operators and driver’s association, bus companies, barkers and conductors of public utility vehicles operating within the territorial jurisdiction of Baguio or maintaining, staging, loading or terminals shall not allow any person who is drunk to aboard said PUVs’.”

Relative to the above, any willful violation of the proposed regulation, by any jeepney driver, jeepney association, bus company, barker or conductor, as well as any drunk passenger shall be penalized with the following: for the first offense a fine of 500 pesos; for the second offense a fine of 1,000 pesos; for the third offense a fine of 3,000 pesos and for the subsequent offenses a fine of 5,000 pesos or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 6 months or both at the discretion of the court.

Upon it approval and effectivity PUVs shall prominently display in their vehicles a signage containing the warning that, “Drunk Passengers are not allowed to Board”, as well as other pertinent data relative to the said prohibition.
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