Tugade warns PUV operators, drivers not following health protocols

Public utility bus

The leadership of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) reminded the drivers and operators of public utility vehicles (PUVs) to strictly enforce health measures against COVID-19.

After receiving reports that observance of safety protocols has become lax, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade declard that the participation of public utility vehicle operators and drivers is crucial, as Metro Manila and the other adjacent provinces in the NCR Plus bubble are slowly reopening economic activities.

“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,” Tugade was quoted as saying.

Public utility bus

However, the call was not just for the drivers and operators, but for the passengers as well. Tugade said that the public must continue to do its share in controlling the spread of COVID-19.

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 (The pandemic is still here. All of us must follow proper health protocols such as the wearing of face masks, face shields and observance of proper physical distancing. Everyone should conform; passenger, driver and operator alike).

Tugade also ordered the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) to step up their operations against erring PUV operators and drivers.

“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. Kung wala namang physical distancing, overloading ‘yan (if physical distancing is not followed, that is considered overloading),” Tugade explained.

Modernized PUVs

Moreover, Tugade directed DOTr-attached agencies to go after the operators of colorum vehicles illegally transporting people to and from Metro Manila.

"Hindi ho tayo uusad sa ating laban kontra sa COVID kung tahasan nating nilalabag ang mga quarantine protocols. Isantabi muna natin ang pansariling interes para isalba ang buhay ng nakararami (We cannot move forward in our campaign against COVID if we deliberately violate the quarantine protocols. We must set aside our own interest to save lives of many)," he said.

Photos from Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and Department of Transportation Facebook pages

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