Capitol eyes ID system for tourist vehicles

THE Cebu Provincial Board (PB) is contemplating on putting up a unified identification (ID) system for tourist vehicle drivers to increase accountability of the tourist transport sector.

Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale said that they came up with the proposal during their ongoing investigation on the accident in Alegria last month that claimed the lives of seven Filipino-American nationals.

Magpale said the ID system was raised by Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7 Director Victor Caindec, whom they invited during the PB’s regular session yesterday.

Caindec, former executive director of the Cebu City Transportation Office, told the PB that City Hall requires tourist vehicle drivers plying Cebu City’s streets to get an ID from them.

Magpale said they can ask for help from the Department of Tourism for the implementation of the unified ID system by making it one of the requirements for the issuance of accreditation stickers.

Aside from the ID system, the PB also wants tourist vehicles to implement additional precautionary measures such as installing dashboard cameras and closed-circuit television cameras in tourist vans and conduct mandatory drug testing on their drivers.

Magpale said she will discuss the matter with the other PB members so they can start drafting the proposed measure.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7, for their part, warned tourist transport firms to register their vehicles in their office or face sanctions for operating colorum units.

LTFRB 7 Transportation Development Officer Reynaldo Elnar said they should avoid the “kabit” system or the practice of registering private vehicles under tourism transport franchises, which is not allowed.

Elnar said LTFRB 7 suspended one of the franchises of Inner J Tourist Transport Inc., operator of the van that crashed in Alegria, after they found out that the vehicle was still on private status.

Elnar said that once the franchise has been issued to the tourist transport firm, they need to change the certificate of registration (CR) of the private vehicle to “for hire” as soon as possible.

Aside from suspension of the francise, LTFRB 7 imposed a P250,000 fine on the firm for operating a colorum vehicle. (JKV)
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