THE Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) has strengthened its campaign against public utility vehicles (PUVs) that are carrying more passengers than their prescribed capacity.

The CCTO issued citation tickets to more than 150 PUV drivers on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, after they were caught having excess passengers inside their vehicles.

CCTO head Raquel Arce told reporters Thursday, Nov. 24, that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has allowed PUVs to carry five additional passengers after exceeding the maximum capacity.

For its part, the CCTO allows up to seven additional passengers who can stand inside the PUVs if the maximum seating capacity has already been reached, she said.

However, during the CCTO’s operation, the flagged PUVs were found to be carrying 12 to 15 excess passengers, Arce said.

She explained that PUVs should not be too overcrowded, especially since the threat of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic is still around and modern jeepneys are closed and air-conditioned.

Arce also warned the apprehended drivers that they should settle their violations within three days after the receipt of the citation tickets or face lawsuits before the court.

The violators will have to pay a fine of P500 for the first offense, but Arce said she will have to check the prescribed penalties for habitual violators.

“If a driver just obeyed the law or attended a seminar on getting his driver’s license, our roads would have been orderly and comfortable to travel on,” said Arce in Cebuano.

Arce said the CCTO is just implementing the laws and regulations regardless of who will be affected.

No plan

LTFRB Central Visayas Director Eduardo Montealto Jr. told SunStar Cebu Thursday that there is really a challenge in providing enough public transportation during peak hours, but this does not mean that there is a lack of PUVs.

Montealto explained that this is because the Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP) or route rationalization for Cebu City and other local government units (LGU) in Metro Cebu has not been approved.

The LPTRP will determine what routes are underserved or overserved with PUVs and will give a guide to the LTFRB and LGUs to realign the number of PUVs per route depending on the demand.

“This is what we will address together with the LGUs. Contributory is the traffic congestion wherein the turnaround of units is delayed. LGUs are doing their best to fast-track the (formulation of the) LPTRP with LTFRB,” said Montealto.