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Government must ensure enough PUVs during holidays – Poe

Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star
Government must ensure enough PUVs during holidays â Poe
PUJs ply their route along EDSA-Aurora Boulevard intersection in Quezon City on Thursday, June 9, 2022. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has recently approved the P1 provisional fare hike for jeepneys in Metro Manila, Regions 3 and 4.
THE STAR / Miguel De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — The government should ensure the availability of adequate, reliable and safe transportation amid the expected rush of passengers traveling to various destinations this Christmas season, Sen. Grace Poe said.

“For millions whose only option is to take public transportation, public utility vehicles (PUVs) should be readily and safely accessible. The lack of PUVs could open the way for fly-by-night and other ‘colorum’ vehicles that could jeopardize the safety of our riding public,” she stressed.

Poe, who chairs the Senate public services committee, issued the call as the nation commemorated the National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims, Survivors and Their Families on the third Sunday of November. Enacted into law as Republic Act 11468 in 2020, the measure encourages remembrance of the lives lost or injured in road accidents and promotes road safety. Poe is the author and principal sponsor of the law.

With the holiday season well nigh, the senator said many families are expected to travel to many places in the country.

“Concerned agencies should work closely with transportation groups and private operators to see to it that there are sufficient number of PUVs to transport our people safely to their destinations,” she added.

Unauthorized for-hire vehicles usually charge passengers exorbitantly. Worst, they ply the roads without undergoing the proper safety checks thus exposing the public to road hazards and increased risk of accidents, Poe warned.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, there were 5,455 deaths recorded due to “transportation accidents” from January to July 2022. The road crash incidents ranked 12th among the top causes of deaths in the country during the period.

Poe said she hopes the law would be fully implemented not only to remember the road crash victims, but also to draw attention to the crucial task of embarking on shared actions to prevent further road traffic deaths and injuries, and help families of the victims find justice.

“The road tragedies leave a lesson that they should not be repeated, and remind us that the path to safe travels is a shared responsibility,” the senator said.

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