A TOTAL of 157 public utility vehicles (PUVs), mostly smoke-belching jeepneys, were flagged down by officials of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Tuesday afternoon, February 20, in major roads of the city as the crackdown on dilapidated jeepneys continues.
Oscar Salcedo, LTO-Northern Mindanao regional director said 130 of the vehicles were billowing black smoke. Five of the PUVs were impounded, while the rest of the jeepneys committed various violations such as the non-wearing of seat belts, defective brakes, or worn-out vehicle parts.
Salcedo said operators and drivers were given 72 hours or 3 days to fix or "tune up" their vehicles and bring it to the LTO regional office to get back their drivers’ licenses.
But Salcedo said the inspection would not take more than 5 minutes so as to not cause hassle to passengers.
"We will conduct this roadside inspections at least every one month to ensure that the jeepneys running in our streets are up to standards and ensure the safety of our passengers. We just want them to obey the rules and laws otherwise more will be apprehended in the next operations," he added.
The regional director pointed out that the operations is not all about jeepney modernization but more on the road safety compliance of the PUVs.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), meanwhile, warned that as a support for the government's "Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok" campaign, they will not confirm the franchise of an operator if he fails to comply to existing road safety laws.
Aminoden Guro, LTFRB-Northern Mindanao regional director clarified that although they will not penalize operators, they will however hold the franchise renewal of a certain operator.
Ringo Lago, secretary-general of Solidarity of Transport Alliance in Northern Mindanao-Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Starex-Piston) in Northern Mindanao urged authorities to stop the apprehensions. He called it the government's strategy to force operators enter their modernization program.
"Imbes nga irehabilitate ang karaang jeepney o isubsidize aron palambuon ang nasudnong tig-gama og jeep gitugutan pa sa gobyernong Duterte nga ligsan-patay ang mga kabus nga driver ug gagmayng operators pabor sa interes sa higante ug langyawng negosyo (Instead of rehabilitating the old jeepneys, the Duterte administration resorted to these scheme that will eventually kill small jeepney operators and poor drivers," Lago said.
"Sa tinuoray lang ang bulok nga sistema sa gobyerno ug ang bulok nga konsepto sa “Modernisasyon” nga mao ang panagkunsabuhay sa interes sa langyaw ug lokal nga negosyo mao ang dapat tanggalon (What should be stopped is the modernization concept which only prioritizes foreign interest)," he added.