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Recto lauds Speaker Romualdez for successfully fixing OTS issue

March 10, 2023 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 242 views

DEPUTY Speaker Ralph Recto has praised Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez for being a successful “troubleshooter” after committing the Office of Transportation Security (OTS) under the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to use body cameras as one of the stronger measures to ensure the protection for tourists and travelers against “abusive” government personnel in all airports in the country.

“I praise Speaker Martin for successfully pressing this issue with the DOTr and OTS leadership. Nagagalak akong meron tayong Speaker who troubleshoots problems hands on,” Recto said.

“Hindi lang po matutuwa, Mister Speaker, ang mga biyahero, pero ang mga bantay na rin because the bodycam protects the checked from abuse, and the checker from arrogance,” Recto added.

But Recto said the needed protection for tourists, such as the use of body cameras by airport personnel, should be implemented soon.

“Sa pagbili ng airport security bodycams, huwag sanang tularan ng DOTr ang PNP (Philippine National Police) na inabot ng apat na taon bago mabili ang mga ito. It should be treated as an emergency purchase, not an item for eternal procurement. Bodycams needed yesterday should not be delivered many years from now,” Recto said.

Romualdez had a meeting last Monday afternoon at the House of Representatives with transportation officials, including DOTr Sec. Jaime Bautista, OTS Administrator Usec. Ma. O Ranada Aplasca, and Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) Gen. Manager Cesar Chiong.

Meanwhile, AGRI Party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee urged DOTr officials led by Bautista to seriously address the issues raised by jeepney drivers and operators on the implementation of the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program.

During the House Committee on Transportation’s meeting last Wednesday, where the DOTr presented the status of the implementation of the PUV modernization program, Lee pointed out that this should not be implemented “hastily” as this will result in loss of livelihood for many of our countrymen.

“The transport sector is not only a public service but most importantly, a source of livelihood. Napakarami nating kababayan ang umaasa sa kabuhayang ito,” Lee said.

“(Six) years, six extensions, and one pandemic have passed since the launch of this program, but the dominant and critical issues are still the same. Maingat po natin dapat solusyunan ang problema ukol sa modernization, which we should welcome primarily for the sake of the environment,” the solon from Sorsogon added.

Lee then appealed to the government to address the high and unaffordable cost of modern jeepneys, saying that a jeepney driver or operator who earns about P600-750 a day cannot afford to buy a new jeepney worth P1.6-2.3 million.

“We should provide an acceptable paying scheme which must be just, fair and humane. They should be allowed to pay for a modern jeepney in ten to 15 years instead of seven years or the government can provide a higher and adequate subsidy. Ma-a-address po natin dito yung problema at malaking pangamba na malulubog ang mga driver at operator sa utang sa pagkuha ng bagong unit,” Lee said.