Councilors in disagreement over regulation vs drunk passengers

ONLY behaved drunks will be allowed to board public utility vehicles.

After the uproar on the proposed law banning drunks on jeeps and buses, proponent councilors Joel Alangsab and Benny Bomogao softened their stand and said if the intoxicated persons are not causing trouble, they may be allowed to take public transport.

Colleagues disused the passing of the ordinance saying it discriminates passengers and will be detrimental to the drunk passenger if they cannot find means to go home.

Councilor Maylen Yaranon said “this will be discriminatory to those who have vehicles,” adding drunks without cars will have to take taxi cabs.

The proposed law promotes the protection of passengers against unscrupulous, undisciplined, bullies who are under the influence of alcohol and mandates PUV operators, associations, drivers, barkers, conductors, and bus companies to ensure that any person who is drunk will not board PUVs.

Councilor Leandro Yangot said complaints have been aired to his office by senior citizens who are worried the proposed law will encourage drunk driving.

Alangsab stood his ground and said the proposed law protects the rights of passengers who are affected by unruly drunks boarding jeeps and buses.

Alangsab said a drunk passenger is “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 the lack or diminution of self-control.”

Violators will be penalized P500 on the first offense, P1,000 for the second offense, and P3,000 for the third offense. Violators could also face imprisonment for a period not more than six months and pay a fine of P5,000 for the succeeding offense.

Councilor Lila Fariñas said it will be safe to let the drunk persons go home even if in public utility vehicles than give them the chance to attempt to drive.

Alangsab was firm in saying if individuals decide to drink, they must now be aware that they cannot be unruly on public utility vehicles and should ready money for their cab fare.

A public hearing will be set for the proposed law and will get the consensus of the people for its approval. (Maria Elena Catajan)
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