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Does not make sense

By Dr. Ramon Ricardo A. Roque, CESOI, Diplomate

The “Oplan Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok” of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is a laudable public service.
The agency’s drive to rid our streets with unworthy public utility vehicles is a welcome act from the government because its essence goes into the heart of its mandate to serve and protect the people.

Unworthy public utility vehicles are those that are dilapidated and without the basic operating and safety elements of a vehicle that include working taillights and headlights, wipers, threaded tires, seatbelts, handbrakes and the like. These also include the smoke-belching vehicles.

The case of unworthy vehicles is a valid and forceful argument in favor of the public utility vehicle modernization program of the Duterte Administration. The safety of the riding public and the protection of the environment—they key objects of the modernization program—can only be advanced and realized if the government does not allow unworthy vehicles in our roads.

Even the transport groups that are against the modernization program of the government should not argue against the current drive of the DOTr because such is clearly directed towards the safety of the riding public.

It is sad that even with such intent of the DOTr, some transport groups are threatening to stage “tigil pasada” action in response, if not outright retaliation, to the action of the government.

The rule of law should prevail. The issue here is not about the loss of livelihood for the operators and drivers of public utility vehicles and the negative effect of such loss to the life of the members of their families. The issue here is about public safety. Laws, rules and regulations that are meant to guarantee the safety of the public should be enforced. The loss of livelihood of some should not weigh more than the safety of majority, if not all, of the people.

As things currently stand, the drive of the DOTr is a long overdue action in enforcing our laws. We have unworthy public utility vehicles in our roads because the concerned government agencies, like the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has been, to say the least, ineffective in performing its mandate. Such kind of performance of one agency should not stop other agencies like the DOTr from enforcing the law as such is precisely the reason why DOTr should now take a lead role.

The people certainly have the right to complain about and even protest against the misgivings of the government but a “tigil pasada” to protest against an action that the government makes because it is mandated to do so to serve the interest of the people simply does not make any sense.