PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has ordered more stringent road safety checks after a private truck used to ferry a family to an outing fell into a ravine in South Cotabato on September 17 killing 21 and injuring 14 others.
In a meeting yesterday with Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Senator Bong Go, Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Edgar Galvante, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra III, DOTr Usec. for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark de Leon, and officers from the Philippine National Police, President Duterte gave instructions to intensify roadworthiness checks, improve driver’s licensing requirements, periodic drug testing, and financial capability checks for operators.
President Duterte directed the immediate roadworthiness inspection of Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) and the conduct of regular inspections in PUV terminals.
Likewise, the chief executive pushed for the urgent nationwide implementation of the PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP) to improve the level of safety and security of passengers.
“Modernization of public transport is non-negotiable,” he emphasized.
President Duterte underscored that private vehicles used beyond their legitimate purpose should be banned, and that the need for PUV operators to invest in road safety equipment and facilities should be pushed further. He said that operators who do not have the financial capability for safety improvements should cease to operate.
On licensing requirements, President Duterte stated that driving a motor vehicle should require a minimum IQ level, and that drug tests be made mandatory for drivers to reduce the risk of accidents.
“The loss of lives due to crashes is too unacceptable. We already have good roads but there are a lot of ignorant drivers,” President Duterte said.
“When you take drugs, you are out to hurt somebody,” he added.