GENERAL SANTOS CITY – At least 107 operators of public utility vehicles (PUV) in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) were penalized in the last three months due to non-compliance with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) protocols and other franchise violations.
Paterno Renato Padua, director of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Region 12, said Tuesday the violators were apprehended during their surprise inspections and expanded enforcement operations in major highways in the region from January to March.
Padua said most of the violations involved the non-installation of plastic barriers for passengers inside the vehicles and failure to implement the health and safety protocols.
Padua said the violators, mostly jeepneys and passenger vans, were slapped with corresponding notices and fines of PHP5,000 each.
“These are all first-time violators, so they received fines and warnings of possible cancellation of their franchises,” he said in an interview.
The official said they are continually conducting inspections on PUVs in transport terminals and along major roads to ensure the safety of commuters or passengers in the wake of the continuing surge in Covid-19 cases.
PUV drivers and operators, he added, are being educated on the provisions of Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.
Public transport operations in the region have fully resumed after months of grounding last year due to the onset of the pandemic, which triggered the implementation of border lockdowns and heightened community quarantine measures by local government units.
Padua said PUV drivers and operators need to fully comply with the restrictions and protocols due to the continuing threats posed by Covid-19.
Passengers must wear a face mask and face shield, while the PUVs should follow the 75 percent allowed capacity. (PNA)