JOEL Gabatan, head of the National Confederation of Transport Unions in Northern Mindanao (NCTU-X) hit the lost insurance policy forms.

There's no way of knowing whose insurance forms were affected, which makes virtually all insurance coverage of PUVs in the country doubtful, he said.

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That's because some P9 million worth of insurance policy forms had gone missing, and transport groups are pointing their fingers on a private insurance company.

But most likely, Gabatan said, the lost insurance policy forms belong to provincial operators "who are deemed too far to complain or to know that their insurance coverage has been compromised."

The militant Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) and the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (Fejodap) had earlier called for the suspension of Universal Insurance Transport Accident Solutions (Unitrans) and one of its accredited non-life insurance companies, Stronghold Insurance Company

Piston Secretary General George San Mateo urged Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board Chief Alberto Suansing and Insurance Commission Commissioner Eduardo Malinis to order the suspension of Unitrans, citing the recent discovery of missing policy forms worth P9,350,740 could just be the "tip of the iceberg" of irregularities within the firm.

Gabatan said the loss of the forms could weigh not only against PUV operators but also passengers.

Each year, PUV operators are required to have at least two insurances policies: the Third Party Liability and the Passenger Personal Accident (PPA) insurance.

"The loss of the PPA coverage means our passengers will no longer be covered in case of accident," Gabatan explained.

Gabatan's group has joined the call for LTFRB and IC to compel Unitrans to disclose the missing policy numbers so transport operators can check the policy they are holding. (DVA)