DOTC to go after overloading vessels, public utility vehicles during Semana Santa

March 28, 2010 11:42 pm 

MANILA, March 28 –The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) will go after overloaded passengers and cargo vessels as well public utility vehicles (PUVs) with the influx of passengers in piers and bus terminals during Semana Santa.

Speaking at the Balitaan sa Tinapayan news forum held in Sampaloc, Manila on Sunday, DOTC Secretary Anneli R. Lontoc, said she directed her officials to ensure that safety measures are in place in sea and land travels.

The DOTC’s “Oplan Paglalakbay” is now being implemented in observance of the Holy Week.

DOTC Undersecretary Thompson Lantion said he issued a directive not to allow overloading vessels and PUVs to travel to ensure safety of the passengers.

“Due to increasing volume (of)passengers who are going home to provinces to observe Holy Week there, passenger vessels and PUVs may resort to overloading to accommodate them and we have to prevent this,” Lontoc said.

Lontoc issued the directive to strictly monitor public vessels and vehicles to ensure that there would be no overloading to avoid accidents. “Safety of passengers are the main consideration here,” she said.

The DOTC is also after the colorum passenger vessels and buses and other vehicles.

“We appealed to the public not to ride on colorum vessels and vehicles because they did not pass through the strict compliance for safety travel. Many colorum vessels and vehicles figured in accidents. They usually did not pass through strict inspection of concerned government agencies and they lack safety equipment and gadgets. These kinds would put the lives of passengers at risk,” she said.

She also advised the public to plan their travel at earliest time to avoid hassles. “If possible, they should leave early. If they are travelling by sea or air, they should go to the airports, piers, ports about two hours before departure,” she said.

She also said passengers travelling by land through PUVs are advised to go to the terminal much earlier than the scheduled departure. “Strict inspections will be imposed in the terminals so they have to be early,” she said.

The DOTC has installed Action Centers in ports, piers, and airports to address the complaints of the public as well as to guide travelers.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulator Board (LTFRB) Chairman Alberto Suansing said they expected that the volume of passengers would continue to increase and the peaks days would be until Wednesday.

He said the agency wass giving special permits for the legitimate passenger buses to accommodate the public. (PNA) RMA/JES

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