77 nabbed for violating ‘social distancing’ policy

AROUND 77 public utility vehicles (PUVs) have been apprehended by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Central Visayas for disobeying the social distancing directive of the Department of Transportation.

The 77 were apprehended during the LTFRB 7’s operations from Monday, March 16, 2020, to Friday, March 20.

Eduardo Montealto, LTFRB 7 director, said some of drivers were caught during random inspections conducted by their personnel while some were apprehended through reports from concerned citizens.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Central Visayas also conducted its own operations with the help of local police against violators of the social distancing policy mandated for PUVs to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019.

LTO 7 Director Victor Caindec, however, did not specify the number of violators they apprehended.

Aside from PUVs, the LTO also inspected private vehicles to see if passengers complied with the social distancing policy.

He said they have mobilized over 34 law enforcement personnel across the region to conduct roadside operations to ensure compliance of social distancing guidelines.

“All of our enforcement teams, alongside over 500 deputized personnel from the PNP, have been given directions on the implementation protocols,” he said.

The LTFRB 7 implemented the one-seat apart policy for all PUVs to protect the riding public from being infected by Covid-19, effective Monday, March 16.

The directive reduces the number of jeepney passengers by 50 percent.

Anyone caught violating the measure is required to pay a P5,000 penalty for the first offense; P10,000 for the second offense; and 15,000 plus a 30-day suspension of the PUV’s franchise and a 30-day impoundment of the unit for the third offense. (WBS)