At the start of the year, the government announced that they will crack down on dilapidated public utility vehicles. A month later, the Department of Transport (DOTr) launched 'Sumbong Bulok, Sumbong Usok' citizen enforcement campaign. This program was launched program to support the DOTr's PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP), which aims to provide proper, safe, clean and efficient transport for the commuting public.

The implementing branch is the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic or I-ACT. Since its implementation, the “Tanggal Usok, Tanggal Bulok” campaign has been running in different parts of Metro Manila, as well as nearby provinces such as Pampanga, Bulacan, and Rizal.

Sumbong Bulok, Sumbong Usok made over 2,000 apprehensions in three weeks

Besides reporting dilapidated vehicles, netizens may also report illegally-parked vehicles and illegal vendors, among others. The DOTr adds that the Sumbong Bulok, Sumbong Usok chatline program will automatically enable those who will report to post a photo or a video, and identify the location where the violation was committed through GPS.

Since the program started last February 27, i-ACT has issued a total of 502 subpoena orders to PUV drivers due to smoke belching and 1,668 citation tickets due to defective parts and other similar violations. On top of that, there were also more than a hundred colorum and/or illegally parked vehicles that were impounded. All in all, a total of 2,321 vehicles were apprehended or impounded for violating road and traffic guidelines.

“This Sumbong Bulok, Sumbong Usok Chatbot hotline is basically citizen empowerment. The success of this platform in helping realize the objectives of our operations will serve as a solid proof that if the government, its people, and technology are put into one, nothing is impossible,” said DOTr Sec. Arthur Tugade in a previous statement.