PUVs to be Impounded if Caught Amid Public Transportation Suspension
Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) and other public transportation operating in Metro Manila will be impounded amid transportation suspension due to enhance community quarantine.
In a report of GMA News, authorities stopped buses, taxis, UV Express and other forms of public transportation in Metro Manila on Tuesday morning as the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine started.
On Monday (March 16, 2020), President Duterte has placed the entire Luzon under “enhanced community quarantine” to contain COVID-19. The measure causes heavy traffic congestions and overcrowded areas due to checkpoints.
Along EDSA, northbound and southbound, dozens of taxis and UV Express vans were stopped by police in transit. The reason for most of them is that their operator has not notified them that public transport has been suspended because they came from an overnight trip.
Some UV Express passengers have been dropped off by the authorities, so many of them have asked private motorists to step out. PNP chief Archie Gamboa has since warned about ignoring the total ban on public mass transportation.
PUVs that are caught traveling during enhance community quarantine will be arrested and the vehicle will be impounded. He has already directed the Highway Patrol Group to implement the President’s directive.
“Sinabihan ko kanina ang Highway Patrol… specific…na hulihin ninyo lahat, kung kailangan i-impound natin, of course problema na naman saan i-impound… so that the people will just see really we will enforce the law,” said Gamboa.
He said he would ask the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to issue an official order stating the temporary suspension of all public mass transport vehicles.
“Necessarily meron naman silang calibration of offenses, the first time you do it, the second time there’s suspension… so part of my input later, probably LTFRB would really come up with a clear order that all are suspended so that ‘pag na-apprehend, it is not only the ticket that they’re going to face. They’re also going to face administrative charges on the part of their franchise kasi napaka-simple naman sanang ‘wag magbiyahe,” Gamboa added.
Meanwhile, PNP spokesman Police Brigadier General Bernard Banac also clarified that no arrest would be made against the drivers. The arrest would be made only if they show “blatant disrespect or disobedience to authorities such as speeding away when flagged down,” Banac said, as based on the report.
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