CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Government agencies have started its round of inspection in public areas of convergence starting Monday to make sure that those who are going back to their homes for the holidays are safe while traveling.
Conducting the inspection at the Bulua and Agora bus terminals was a joint team from the Phil. Drug Enforcement Agency-10 (PDEA-10), Land Transportation Office-10 (LTO-10), and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-10 (LTFRB-10).
PDEA-10 regional director Wilkins Villanueva said they are implementing the surprise drug testing of at least 300 bus drivers and bus conductors in Northern Mindanao.
“This is to ensure the safety of our riding public so that when they return to their homes during the Holy Week they will arrive safe and sound because our drivers are drug-free,” Villanueva said.
Bus drivers and conductors who will test positive for illegal drugs will be reported to LTO and LTFRB and will have their licenses confiscated as they are required to undergo the barangay-based rehabilitation program, he said.
Once they have completed the intervention, the PDEA will recommend for their reinstatement, the regional director added.
For his part, LTFRB-10 regional director Aminoden Guro said they are checking the physical condition of the bus drivers, and if they have a medical condition, they will not be allowed to drive.
“We are also checking the roadworthiness of the buses and see to it that there will be no overloading of passengers,” Guro said.
Guro has also advised commuters to be wary of “colorum” or taxis and vans operating without franchise as these have no insurance policies.
“If these ‘colorum’ taxis and vans will figure in a road accident, the passengers cannot avail of insurance,” he added.
LTO-10 regional director Nelson Manaloto has also urged the riding public to report to the transportation authorities bus drivers and conductors who are not observing decorum while on duty.
Prior to Monday’s operation, Manaloto said they have inspected the buses last week and ordered the bus companies not to allow defective buses to operate.
Meanwhile, Rural Transit Mindanao Inc. (RTMI) branch manager Jessie Boy Lentorio has assured that all their buses and drivers are “well prepared.”
Lentorio said it is mandatory for all the RTMI to only allow buses that are in good running condition.
“We won’t allow them to travel if there are problems. We are concerned with the maintenance aspect of our units,” he said.
RTMI is one of the country’s biggest bus companies with more than 300 units operating in Mindanao. (davaotoday.com)