Recently, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) released Memorandum Circular 2020-2185 wherein they outlined all the rules that the public must follow with regards to land transportation -be it private, public, or government- for General Community Quarantine (GCQ) areas.

As you know, public transportation had been suspended by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) but is gradually being reopened under the GCQ by the Department of Transportation (DOTr). The return of public transport and the relaxation of some rules with regards to private transport does mean there needs to be restrictions to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, particularly with regards to limiting vehicle capacity for greater social distancing and with sanitation.

But what will be the fines for violations of the new LTO rules under GCQ?

Well, what the LTO did was to assign penalties to the violations under MC 2020-2185 to correspond to an existing agency order: JAO 2014-01.

JAO 2014-01 outlines the revised penalties and sanctions for land transport-related violations. It defines the penalties for things like Reckless Driving, Colorum, so on and so forth. What the LTO did was to match up GCQ violations with existing penalties under JAO 2014-01.

Article IV, Section 7 of MC 2020-2185 outlines all the administrative sanctions and procedures for violating the LTO's new GCQ transport safety guidelines, and the DOTr (the LTO's parent agency) released a table showing the violations as they correspond to the new rules.

DOTR, LTO: Reckless driving will be penalty for violating GCQ safety measures image

For instance: if you don't comply with the sanitary measures outlined by the LTO carries with it a Reckless Driving violation, which is a blanket violation that equates it to disregarding traffic signs. That means if drivers and passengers don't wear masks in private vehicles or if PUV drivers and conductors don't wear masks and gloves, it's a Reckless Driving violation. That's a PhP 2,000 fine for the first offense, PhP 3000 for the second offense, and PhP 10000 for every instance after.

For PUVs, it also means a Breach of Franchise conditions which would mean a fine of PhP 5,000 for the first offense, PhP 10,000 for the second offense, and PhP 15,000 for every offense after and cancellation of the certificate of public conveyance.

For violating Physical Distancing Measures (i.e. carrying more than the revised maximum of 50% capacity for PUVs and PUBs) drivers will be ticketed for an overloading violation which carries a PhP 1,000 fine. We're not sure if it applies to private vehicles, but we will presume the overloading violation can be applied if you have 5 people in your car since the DOTr did set a maximum of 2 persons per row; that means every passenger car will have a new maximum of 4 persons.

For drivers that aren't classified as an APOR or Authorized Person Outside Residence, they will be ticketed as driving without a valid driver's license. Unusually, that makes sense: if you're not authorized to go out, your license would be considered invalid, albeit temporarily.

What we're still unsure of is whether or not the violations can be applied together. For instance: exceeding the 50% capacity can be considered both as Reckless Driving and as Overloading.

There are other violations and corresponding fines under the new rules, and you can check them out in the DOTr-LTO infographic for yourselves.