CONCERNED government authorities conducting road safety inspection of public utility vehicles (PUVs) is a refreshing sight in the Philippines, which is still teeming with “rolling coffins.”
Every year, thousands of motorists, passengers, pedestrians and even those living in houses along highways and streets are killed or hurt in road mishaps involving defective vehicles.
Last September 17, a private truck, loaded with family members on an outing, fell into a ravine in South Cotabato, killing 21 and injuring 14 others.
The deadly vehicular accident prompted President Rodrigo R. Duterte to order more stringent road safety checks and the conduct of regular inspections in PUV terminals across the country.
He issued the order during a meeting with Transportation Sec. Arthur Tugade, Sen. Bong Go, Land Transportation Office chief Edgar Galvante, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board chair Martin Delgra III and Transportation Undersecretary Mark de Leon.
At the same time, President Duterte pushed for the immediate implementation of the PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP) to improve the level of safety and security of the riding public.
We share the view of the hard-hitting Chief Executive that public transport operators who do not have the financial capability for safety improvements should cease to operate.
“The loss of lives due to (road) crashes is too unacceptable. We already have good roads but there are a lot of ignorant drivers,” said Duterte, whose six-year presidency ends in June 2022.
Likewise, President Duterte pointed out that when motor vehicle drivers take illegal drugs, they are out to hurt somebody.
Doubtless, when “rolling coffins” are allowed to operate, they are endangering the lives of so many people, mostly students and ordinary workers in the government and private sector.