Earlier this month, the MMDA (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority) said that they will ban PUB (public utility bus) drivers who have committed multiple violations in 2019. The agency said that they plan to push through with the suspension of these delinquent drivers by March 9.
However, the implementation has now been deferred to March 16. Upon the recommendation of the LTO (Land Transportation Office), the suspension would only cover those who committed a minimum of eight repeat violations in 2019.
The MMDA initially recommended that PUV drivers with three similar violations in the same year be suspended from driving. There were initially 12,000 names in the MMDA's master list, the list has now been trimmed down to 1,406 drivers.
"Since the MMDA has does not have the authority to suspend driver's licenses, we have to follow what the LTO says. This is why we were not able to immediately implement the original plan," said Jose Arturo "Jojo" Garcias, MMDA General Manager.
At the moment, the MMDA, the LTO, the LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board), and PUV operators are discussing and disseminating the revised master list.
“Lahat ng [PUV] drivers na magpapa-dispatch, titignan ang lisensiya kung nasa master list. Kung nasa master list, tatawagin ang LTO to confiscate the license (All PUV drivers who will be dispatched, their licenses will be checked if it’s in the master list. If it does, the LTO will be called to confiscate their license),” said Garcia.
The agency expressed its commitment to getting these delinquent drivers off the road. Garcia also shared that two drivers among those identified repeatedly committed the same violation 35 times in 2019.
According to Garcia, bus operators likewise agreed to have their drivers undergo a retraining program to ensure the safety of both motorists and commuters.
Recently, Senator Ronald dela Rosa urged the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to conduct random drug testing in transport terminals. This comes after numerous reports of public utility vehicle drivers plying their routes under the influence of dangerous drugs which resulted in road mishaps that have claimed the lives of innocent pedestrians, commuters, and motorists.