The Senate committee has recommended that Land Transportation Office (LTO) change its system of PUV inspection and issuance of professional drivers licenses.
LTO admitted during the joint Senate hearing on Tuesday that they lack proper equipment to determine the road worthiness of public utility vehicles or PUVs.
LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante said that while the agency’s mandate is to make sure that PUVs are safe to commuters, they cannot fully perform the job, given that they only have nine motor vehicle inspection systems for checking all PUVs in the country.
“Kasama po sa motor vehicle inspection system, ay chinecheck ang kanilang break, iyong kanilang steering (Included in the motor vehicle inspection system are the breaks and steering wheel) and other components of the vehicle that should be properly functioning. At the moment, because of lack of equipment, we rely heavily on the visual and practical evaluation,” Assistant Galvante said.
He also asserted that this is the reason why they approved the renewal of registration of a bus involved in the Tanay tragedy without knowing that its engine was three decades old already.
It should be recalled that a bus accident on February 20 caused the death of 15 people, including students from Bestlink College.
READ: Tanay crash site has history of road mishaps
Some senators also urged LTO to change its system of issuing professional drivers licenses.
“Iyon ang isang dapat paghigpitan, pero pinapayagan po ng batas ay iyong para magkaroon kayo ng professional license eh kailagan po na magkaroon ka ng 6 months as a student driver. Eh dito po mukhang may kakulangan po tayo kaya iniiba na po natin ang procedure (It should be stricter but the law allows 6 months of student driving before you can get a professional license. It seems we are lacking in that area and that is why we are changing the procedure.),” Galvante added.
“I suggest if you need a law for this let us know, if you can come up with a administrative order, all the better. Sapagkat ang pagre-renew ng lisensya ngayon dapat higpitan niyo, pag-eksaminin niyo uli. Grabe, hindi lang ang rereckless eh, ang tatanga eh, kaya sigurado babagsak talaga eh. Sa totoong examination 50% ng drivers babagsak (You should be more strict in renewing licenses, give them another exam. Goodness, they [drivers] are not only reckless, they are also foolish, so they will surely fail the test. In a real examination, 50% of the drivers will fail),” Senator Tito Sotto said.
Senator Grace Poe, who heads the Senate committee on civil service, government reorganization and professional regulation, said that a national transport safety board should be created.
It will be an independent commission that will conduct investigation of transport accidents.
Now, a committee report on the issue will be submitted to the Plenary, indicating which proposed legislation can be passed to address this particular problem of the transportation sector. — Joyce Balancio | UNTV News & Rescue