The President has just weighed in on the accident in South Cotabato that involved a truck, and ended up killing 21 people and injuring 14.
In a statement released by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered much more stringent enforcement when it comes to road safety. His orders were delivered in a meeting with the DOTr in the wake of the accident.
President Duterte issued marching orders for the relevant agencies to conduct immediate roadworthiness inspections of Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) in their terminals. The DOTr release also stated that PUV operators who cannot afford to pay for safety improvements should stop operations.
Present in the meeting was Senator Bong Go, Secretary Arthur Tugade of the DOTr, Asec. Edgar Galvante of the LTO, Chairman Martin Delgra III of the LTFRB, Usec. Mark De Leon of the DOTr, and PNP officers.
Interestingly enough, the President also stated that there should be a minimum IQ level set as a requirement to be licensed by the LTO to drive a motor vehicle.
“The loss of lives due to crashes is too unacceptable. We already have good roads but there are a lot of ignorant drivers,” President Duterte said.
Currently, the only place we can find that had a minimum IQ requirement for operating a motor vehicle is Maine in the United States. In 2013, reports say that the State of Maine has set a minimum IQ of 70 to be able to be granted a driver's license.
The President also reiterated that drug tests should be standard to avoid accidents, as well as reemphasized the need for PUV modernization, a program that has met with a lot of friction from PUV drivers.
“When you take drugs, you are out to hurt somebody,” added the President.
The President issued orders to the Philippine National Police to to pursue criminal cases against drivers involved in road crashes. The statement from the DOTr says the the President recommended the PNP study the imposition of minimum imprisonment sentences to erring drivers involved in such crashes.
Secretary Tugate said that the department will carry out the President's orders, and that they will make sure that only roadworthy vehicles will take to the streets. He also said that they will work to make sure that all drivers have the right knowledge and discipline.
The DOTr says that President Duterte will issue an Executive Order on stricter road safety enforcement.