MANILA, Philippines – A spate of road accidents involving buses has prompted Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Atty. Francis Tolentino to recommend that the licenses of all city bus drivers be cancelled.
Tolentino recommended that the drivers should undergo psychiatric tests and secure certification from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority before being given a new license.
“Bigyan sila ng isang buwang palugit para mag-renew ng panibagong lisensya, ibang kulay siguro ng jacket at mag-undergo ng psychiatric test as well as meg-secure ng TESDA skills certification,” said Tolentino.
Bus drivers have mixed reactions on Tolentino’s recommendation.
“Kung anong utos ng gobyerno natin, iyon ang masusunod,” one driver said.
But another driver said it will be a hassle for drivers to re-apply for a license.
“Hindi ako papayag kasi malaking abala iyon para sa amin,” the driver said.
8 hurt in EDSA mishap
Tolentino’s recommendation came after an accident at the EDSA-Ortigas flyover that injured 8 people.
Authorities on Thursday filed charges of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple physical injuries and damage to property against the bus driver Florencio Beron.
Victims of the incident are determined to hold Beron liable for what happened.
They said the bus was going fast and it seemed that the driver and the conductor were fighting with each other at the time of the incident.
“Parang mayroon silang hindi pinagkakasunduan ng konduktor niya. And then pag-akyat namin ng Ortigas flyover, parang galit siya,” said Julio Ardena, one of the passengers.
Tolentino has also recommended the cancellation of Beron's driver's license.
In the MMDA's CCTV footage, Beron could be seen taking the flyover, which is off-limits to buses.
Beron is also accused of swerving as well as texting while driving.
LTFRB suspends Don Mariano
Meanwhile, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has suspended Don Mariano Transit for 30 days, preventing its 21 buses from plying their routes and forcing their drivers to undergo re-training on road safety.
LTFRB records showed that the bus company was involved in 6 accidents in 2010.
The LTFRB said public utility vehicle drivers should be issued IDs for easier monitoring.
“Kapag dumadami ang violations, papalapit ng papalapit sa pagsuspindi o pagkansela ng kanyang driver’s license. Kapag na-cancel ang license, hindi na siya puwede mag-drive ng any public utility vehicle,” said LTFRB Chairman Jaime Jacob.
Authorities said this will also help operators choose responsible drivers. -- Report from Alex Santos, ABS-CBN News