Mindanao Ombudsman Launches Campaign Vs Misuse of Govt Vehicles

Jul. 24, 2006

By Cheryll D. Fiel

DAVAO CITY — The Office of the Ombudsman in Mindanao has announced that it is now tightly monitoring the use of government vehicles, through its program called Task Force Oplan Red Plate.

The monitoring began more than three weeks ago and entails the deployment of personnel to various areas in the city such as beaches, entertainment spots, parks, malls and markets. The monitoring teams take photographs or videos of vehicles with red plates, which is the color assigned to all government-owned vehicles, said Rodolfo Elman, director of the Office of the Ombudsman in Mindanao.

Elman said this is part of the governments campaign to reduce the incidence of misuse of government vehicles. He said they had done a similar program three years ago in Tandag, Surigao del Sur.

Elman said that they have so far monitored, by photographs and video, 24 red-plate vehicles in public places in the city. One of the vehicles, a Toyoto Hilux with plates SER 719, was seen at Jones Beach in Talomo at around 12 noon Sunday last week.

An L300 van was also spotted at a casino last Friday while another vehicle with plate number SHA 449 was seen at the Gaisano Mall last July 8.

Elman said they would file corresponding cases against government officials to whom these vehicles were assigned.

He reminded officials who use government cars to display at all times a so-called trip ticket, which authorizes the use of the vehicle at a particular time, by the windshield as required by law.

The ombudsman has also launched similar programs in Tagum, Cagayan and General Santos City. (Cheryll D. Fiel/davaotoday.com)

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