Cops go after public transport drivers violating health protocols

August 14, 2021 Alfred P. Dalizon 134 views

ACTING on an instruction from Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar, the PNP Highway Patrol Group (HPG) on Friday started a crackdown on drivers of public transport vehicles violating government health protocols and accommodating passengers more than their allowed limit in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus.

PNP-HPG director Brigadier Gen. Alexander C. Tagum said they launched Oplan: Habol which pertains to static and mobile random inspection of motor vehicles and motorists following an order from Eleazar which was relayed by Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander and PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Lieutenant Gen. Israel Ephraim T. Dickson.

The instruction was given amid numerous complaints regarding the wanton disregard of public transport drivers specifically jeepney and tricycle drivers on the “one-seat apart” rule, which means they are only allowed to have a 50-percent passenger capacity.

Eleazar also ordered local police units to assign officers in public transport terminals in their areas to check health protocol violations in coordination with local government units.

Tagum said members of the Regional Highway Patrol Units 4-A and 3 in Calabarzon and Central Luzon regions intensified their border and quarantine control operations in the two regions.

Officers from the two regional HPG units were told to strictly go after unauthorized persons outside of residence and implement minimum health safety protocols including the mandatory wearing of face masks and face shields and physical distancing inside these vehicles.

However, Tagum said they are seeing to it that there will be an unhampered passage of cargo and delivery vehicles carrying essential goods.

As a result of their Friday operations, the PNP-HPG director said the drivers of 902 vehicles were warned and 68 were issued citation tickets in relation to Inter-Agency Task Force protocols.

Warned were the drivers of 56 passenger buses, 99 jeepneys, 78 tricycles, 31 taxis/and transport network vehicle service (TNVS), 60 UV Express and 50 motorcycle taxis.

He said the drivers of the following vehicles were also told to pay government fines: 14 jeepneys, six tricycles, three taxis/TNVS, two UV Express and six motorcycle taxis.

Tagum that his men also warned the drivers of the following transport delivery services: 83 cargo trucks, 53 utility vans and 388 motorcycles.

Also told to pay fines for much serious violations were three truck drivers, one utility van driver and 33 motorcycle drivers.

However, the official emphasized that all cargo trucks and delivery vans which were checked were given unhampered passage. “No one was denied entry,” Tagum said.

The official said also last Friday, their Oplan: Habol in Metro Manila led in the apprehension of 591 unauthorized persons outside of residence, majority of them issued traffic citation tickets.