Penalties await PUV drivers, operators who fail to enforce health protocols–Tugade

Published June 2, 2021, 11:36 AM

by Ellson Quismorio

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade wants transportation authorities to get tough on public utility vehicle (PUV) operators and drivers who fail to implement health protocols.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade (Photo from DOTr Facebook page)

Tugade specifically directed this call Wednesday, June 2 to the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT).

“I am reminding our PUV drivers and operators that they are the government’s partners in the fight against COVID-19 (coronavirus disease). Their participation in this fight is crucial as they are the ones on the frontlines. They should not just ensure that their vehicles are sanitized all the time, but must also be constantly reminding passengers of the need to observe basic health protocols,” he said.

“Failure by the driver and the operator to enforce these health and safety protocols could possibly lead to the suspension or revocation of their franchise, as these can be considered breaches of their franchise conditions,” Tugade warned.

The DOTr head honcho said that the country is still very much in a pandemic, and it is for this reason that certain protocols must be followed.

“May pandemya pa ho. Dapat lahat tayo ay sumunod sa pagpapatupad ng proper health protocols gaya ng pagsusuot ng masks, face shields at proper distancing. Lahat po ay dapat sumunod dito, ikaw man ay pasahero, driver o operator (There is still a pandemic. We must all follow the enforcement of proper health protocols like the wearing of masks, face shields, and proper distancing. We must all follow this, whether you’re a passenger, driver, or an operator),” he said.

“Kung wala namang physical distancing, overloading ‘yan (If physical distancing isn’t observed in PUVs, then there’s overloading),” Tugade added.

Tugade also repeated his call for the deployment of transport marshals to enforce health protocols inside PUVs even as he told commuters to be vigilant and ready to remind their fellow commuters to observe these protocols.