LTO, LTFRB to sign memo requiring PUV drivers to secure training-A A +A
Sunday, February 16, 2014
THE Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7 yesterday said that to prevent more road accidents, it will require public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers to undergo annual refresher training, from which they will earn a certificate, which will be a requirement in renewing licenses.
LTO 7 Regional Director Arnel Tancinco said the new policy, which will be implemented soon after the LTO and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will sign the draft Joint Memorandum Circular, which routed for further comments from both parties.
Tancinco said this is the latest response of the LTO and LTFRB to the several road accidents in the country involving PUVs, such as passenger buses and jeepneys.
The Sun.Star Network Exchange (Sunnex) reported that while the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) has been hogging media headlines due to recent big vehicular accidents, it is actually Central Visayas, which is composed of Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor and Negros Oriental, that has the most number of road mishaps, involving not only PUVs but private vehicles.
According to the Sunnex report, the Department of Health (DOH) Online National Electronic Injury Surveillance System listed Central Visayas with the highest number of vehicular accidents.
Only last Feb. 6, three students were killed while three others were injured when a silver Toyota with plate number TCQ-652 driven by medical representative Al-Dhinier Hadjula Sanaani hit them in Poblacion, Boljoon, Cebu.
Tancinco said that vehicular accidents in Cebu City are recorded by the Cebu City Traffic Operations and Management (Citom). In other cities, it is the police traffic division that records accidents.
All the records of vehicular accidents are validated every year by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), he said.
In 2010, Citom recorded 206 vehicular accidents, which has alarmed the Cebu City Government.
Tancinco said the new requirements for annual trainings for PUV drivers will be handled either by LTO or by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority
The LTO in Manila installed cameras at the Motor Vehicle Inspection Center in Subangdaku, Mandaue City to make sure that all PUVs will undergo vehicle inspection.
The waiver of inspection relates to the common alibi of the MVIC officials and personnel that they cannot inspect all the vehicles due to the limited capacity of the MVIC.
He said that if there’s a vehicular accident and investigators find out that MVIC officials and personnel cleared the bus or jeepney even if it is not roadworthy, they will be held liable for their acts.
Meanwhile, LTFRB 7 Director Ahmed Cuizon said that in the case of PUVs, his agency is pushing for the modernization of fleets.
“For buses, we are strictly implementing the 15-year-old limit such that older units will not be allowed to operate anymore since mechanical defects of old vehicles are often seen as one of the causes or road accidents,” Cuizon said.
“The same is true for taxi and GT (Garage to Terminal) Express units, which should not be older than 13 years old. For jeepneys, LTFRB is also now studying the imposition of age limits in order to gradually cause the fielding of newer units on the road,
thereby upholding better safety standards,” Cuizon said.
Cuizon said the LTFRB also rejects requests for renewal of bus franchise if the
drivers do not undergo skills training by Tesda.
“We also assist the LTO in conducting random drug test at PUV terminals, especially during peak passenger seasons like Holy Week and Christmas time,” Cuizon said.
Currently, Cuizon said the LTFRB plans to make it mandatory for public utility buses to install speed limiter devices that will indicate if a certain bus is over-speeding.
“This way, even the passengers can already tell their bus drivers to slow down,” Cuizon said.
The bus speeds will also be monitored and recorded by centralized computers, Cuizon said.
On the other hand, Tancinco said using motorcycles as “Habal-Habal” is illegal.
Tricycles are under the Local Government Units (LGUs).
The LTO 7 director has warned drivers to refrain from driving while under the influence of liquor.
Tancinco also said that based on the latest review of the fines and penalties on erring drivers, every traffic violation has a penalty of not less than P1,000.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 17, 2014.