From bad to worse. LTFRB apprehends 20 more overloaded modern PUVs

Yesterday we published an article about the LTFRB summoning the operator of a dangerously overloaded modern PUV. You’d think that in this age of high technology, word will spread and it won’t be done again, right? Wrong. Also yesterday, the government agency conducted an operation against more of these overloaded PUVs and they tallied 20 apprehensions. That’s not good at all.

LTFRB ramps-up anti-overloading operations

Ltfrb Modern Puv Overload Apprehension Inline 01 Min

Photo: LTFRB

Law enforcement has its hands full, no doubt.

A few days ago, news of an overloaded modern PUV made the headlines. Because of the sheer number of people inside, one passenger fainted, and you can just imagine the chaos that ensued while in transit. The “sardinas” passengers didn’t have much of a choice, we take it. It’s in that light that the LTFRB has sent a summon for the PUV’s operator to explain and defend their side.

But it doesn’t stop there. This incident seems to have raised a red flag and the agency conducted more operations against overloading, this time in Caloocan and again in Quezon City. Their hit count for violators yesterday? 20 modern PUVs.

Ltfrb Modern Puv Overload Apprehension Inline 02 Min

Photo: LTFRB

It gets worse. Aside from cramming too many passengers inside, elements of the agency’s Law Enforcement Unit found that other violations such as 8 drivers not wearing their proper uniforms, 4 PUVs with broken brake lights, 2 units with no Fare Matrix posted, and some units that did not have the “No Smoking” sign posted and could not present a Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) card as well.

Quite appalling and most concerning, isn’t it?

Ltfrb Modern Puv Overload Apprehension Inline 03 Min

Photo: LTFRB

‘Ako po ay muling nananawagan sa mga driver at operator ng mga pampasaherong sasakyan na sumunod na lamang po tayo sa batas upang maiwasan po na kayo ay maabala ng husto at maging ng mga pasaherong sakay ninyo [I am appealing to drivers and operators of PUVs to follow the law to avoid any inconvenience to yourself and your passengers],’ said Atty. Teofilo Guadiz III, LTFRB Chairman, in a statement.

“Prayoridad po natin ang kaligtasan ng bawat isa, mahalaga ang makarating kayo sa inyong destinasyon ng maayos at pabalik sa inyong pamilya na ligtas [Our prioryt is everyone’s safety, it is important that we get to our destinations problem-free and to our families safe],” he later added.

The apprehended modern PUVs were issued violation tickets and were each fined PHP 5,000 for their first violation under Memorandum Circular 2011-004 ng Joint Administrative Order 2014-01 which covers provisions needed to be met to be issued Certificates of Public Convenience to operate public transportation services.

Believe us when we say that we understand and that we empathize with our commuters. Their daily plight isn’t something that anyone deserves, and these unsafe and illegal practices only make it much worse for them and the others around them as well. It’s one thing for the LTFRB and other law enforcement agencies to exert manpower to enforce the law, but it’s another thing for being a law-abiding citizen to start with PUV drivers and operators themselves.

Perhaps it’s time to revisit and overhaul the system to make such apprehensions more “memorable” so they won’t do any of them again. What say you to that?

Mikko Juangco
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