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Supposed PUV shortage amid gov’t drive vs. unsafe vehicles a ‘fleeting problem’ —Orbos

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 1/12/2018 Galarpe, Karen
DOTr Usec. Tim Orbos © Provided by GMA News Online DOTr Usec. Tim Orbos

The stranding of passengers due to a supposed decrease in the number of active public utility vehicles (PUVs) amid the government’s drive against unsafe transport units is a fleeting problem in the name of “non-negotiable” riders’ safety, a transportation official said on Friday.

Responding to a query on the supposed impact of  “Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok” on the riding public, Transportation Undersecretary Tim Orbos also maintained that the government is ready to augment public transportation in the event of a PUV shortage.

“Pero ganu'n pa man po, ang pinag-uusapan naman ho natin dito ay panandaliang problema na kailangan naman ho nating daanan para siguruhin ho natin 'yung kaligtasan ng ating mga pasahero,” he said in an interview on Unang Balita.

Orbos also clarified that a vehicle which fails the Motor Vehicle Inspection System—a check for a transport unit’s roadworthiness—can undergo the test again once its owner has addressed its problems.

He confirmed that 80 percent of vehicles that have so far undergone the MVIS failed the check, but that half of this number only had “simple problems”—like faulty brake lights and signal lights—that could easily be addressed. Private vehicles, too, had been caught violating safety standards, he said.

Addressing critics, Orbos acknowledged their concerns but touted passengers’ safety as a “non-negotiable” term.

“Alam niyo po, mag-debate po kami sa modernisasyon, tumaas man ho 'yung gasolina, lahat ho 'yan sige, lahat po 'yan ay valid concerns. Pero kung pinag-uusapan po natin 'yung roadworthy na mga sasakyan, ‘yung kaligtasan po ng ating mga pasahero, eh non-negotiable po kami diyan,” he said.

He claimed the Land Transportation Office has conducted dialogues with PUV operators and organizations on the impact of the “Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok” campaign, which has netted a number of supposedly non-compliant vehicles since its kickoff on Monday.

“...Nag-uusap po kami ilang beses na mula nang nagsimula kami. Sabi ko naman sa kanila kailangan niyo lang naman ipakita na kayo rin mismo ay tumutulong dito sa tugon ng gobyerno, ng taumbayan, 'yung kaligtasan,” he said.

“Isang bagay po, napakasimple lang: Bakit niyo pinapatay ‘yung ilaw niyo sa gabi? Eh gumagana naman 'yung ilaw niyo. Ba’t niyo pinapatay? Delikado para sa 'yo, sa pasahero mo, at saka sa mga tao na nasa kalye,” he added.

Amid concerns that the government’s new campaign would be a “ningas cogon” project, Orbos said it would continue.

“Hindi po. Tuloy-tuloy po tayo dito kaya nga po sinimulan namin. Kung tutuusuin ho 'di kami ganoon kalaki at kakaunti lang ho kami but ang intensyon po namin—of course, dinu-duplicate na ho namin, nire-replicate namin sa ibang lugar sa buong Pilipinas, marami na ring gustong sumali, private citizens would like to help definitely po—but ang sinasabi ko lang po dito [ay] tuloy-tuloy po ito,” he said. —Nicole-Anne C. Lagrimas/KG, GMA News

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