Amid reports of blatant quarantine violations in passenger buses and jeepneys, the Philippine National Police yesterday warned drivers of public utility vehicles to strictly follow the minimum public health standards or else be issued citation tickets.
PNP chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, said police forces, particularly from the Highway Patrol Group, have already been instructed to issue traffic violation tickets to the operators and drivers of PUVs, especially in the National Capital Region and nearby provinces of Bulacan, Laguna, Rizal, and Cavite.
Eleazar ordered Joint Task Force Covid Shield commander, Lt. Gen. Israel Dickson, to monitor the situation while also urging the cops to conduct random inspections and issue citation ticket if there is a violation.
“We encourage all the troops or those who conduct checkpoints, whether it’s a random or a mobile checkpoint, if you don’t have the temporary operator’s permit from the Land Transportation Office, get an Official Violator’s Receipt coming from the local government unit then issue citation tickets against violators. Not just a warning because violators will do the same all over again,” Eleazar said in a radio interview yesterday.
He said that although PUV drivers will not be arrested for violating safety and health protocol, the issued citation tickets will tarnish their records at the LTO.
“Though it’s just a small case, it will be added in your record, so always follow the rules,” Eleazar said.
PNP Directorate for Operations chief, Maj. Gen. Alfredo Corpus, earlier issued a memorandum directing the PNP personnel to issue TOP, OVR, and traffic citation tickets to violators.
“This pertains to the reports received by the Directorate for Operations, which disclosed unabated incidents of overloading, violations of minimum public health standards, and violations of allowed passenger capacity as prescribed by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Department of Transportation guidelines committed by public utility buses and jeepneys, particularly in NCR Plus areas,” the memorandum read.
He said random checks will be conducted to ensure that the no-travel policy on non-authorized persons outside residence is still strictly implemented.
“So, we are appealing to the drivers to ensure that their passengers are complying with these rules,” he added.*PNA