By Anna Liza Villas-Alavaren
Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) appealed for public understanding following the inconvenience caused by the government’s campaign for road worthiness of public transport vehicles.
Tim Orbos, I-ACT head, said the public must understand that their “Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok” campaign which started last week is for the “safety of commuters.”
However, transport groups are using public inconvenience as an excuse to thwart the government’s campaign to check public vehicles for road worthiness.
“We are calling on the commuters to speak out against old and dilapidated units and demand what is right for them – for public transport to level up,” said Orbos, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) general manager and concurrent Department of Transportation (DOTr) undersecretary for road and transport.
Because of their relentless crackdown, several jeepney drivers opted not to travel for fear of being flagged down and subject their units to roadside inspection.
Thus, it resulted in shortage of jeepneys, stranding of passengers in some areas in Metro Manila.
Orbos maintained that they will succumb, citing that “the government cannot be held hostage.”
Jojo Garcia, MMDA assistant general manager for planning, said they are willing to assist commuters affected by the campaign by deploying bus rides, if necessary.
During their operation, many of the flagged-down vehicles were found to be emitting excessive smoke, have faulty brakes and signal lights, worn-out tires, among others.
Subpoenas were also given to drivers to subject their units to Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS) before the Land Transportation Office (LTO) that checks vehicles roadworthiness.
According to Orbos, 80 percent of the vehicles that underwent MVIS failed the check.
“Fifty percent of the 80 percent are violations that can be easily fixed. For the longest time, they are disregarding the standards and now they want to use commuters’ inconvenience as an excuse,” said Orbos.
The LTO has two refurbished and fully operating motor vehicle inspection systems (MVIS) lanes at its main office in East Avenue, Quezon City and two more MVIS lanes at LTO Pasay City.
Aside from LTO, DOTr, and MMDA, the other members of I-ACT are the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG).