The government has finally decided to rid Metro Manila roads of unruly bus drivers who are a menace to public safety and order.

Following a call to suspend the driver’s license of bus drivers who continually get apprehended for traffic violations by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), an agreement was reached after a dialogue between the MMDA led by General Manager Jojo Garcia, city bus operators, representatives from the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

PUB (public utility bus) drivers who have accrued multiple violations, will no longer be allowed to get behind the wheel and ply the roads of Metro Manila beginning March 9, 2020. Their driver's licenses will also be confiscated by authorities.

"A representative from LTO will join our personnel at our Bus Management Dispatch offices to screen city bus drivers. They will not be dispatched if they are included in the list of habitual violators. Their driver’s license will be confiscated by LTO as MMDA is not allowed to do so," Garcia said in a press conference held today at the MMDA headquarters in Makati.

The MMDA submitted a list of 12,000 names of drivers who have logged multiple violations. Of this total number, only 2,500 drivers answered the show cause order issued to them by the LTO.

"We are serious about this matter. It's about time to suspend erring drivers with an alarming number of apprehensions," Garcia emphasized.

This should not be a big surprise to anyone as Republic Act 4136, also known as the Land Transportation Code of the Philippines, states “a driver who commits at least three times of same violations during a 12-month period may face automatic suspension of his/her driver’s license for at least one to two years.”

"We asked the bus operators to cooperate and they are willing to have their drivers undergo a retraining program. We need to strictly enforce this and we want them off the road,” Garcia later stressed.

With this new development, we should expect to drive on safer roads, given that a significant number of these errant drivers will be stripped of their licenses. Until the new rule has been implemented, we can only wait and see.