Operators to Tolentino: Go easy on bus drivers

Posted at | Updated as of 07/06/12 11:43 PM

MANILA, Philippines – A group of operators on Friday asked Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino to reconsider his earlier plan of recommending the cancellation of the licenses of all city bus drivers amid the spate of accidents.

Lawyer Grace Adducul, spokesperson for the Metro Bus Transport Club, said not all bus drivers are reckless and it would be unfair for those who have clean traffic records if their licenses will be cancelled.

Adducul said it would be better if the MMDA, Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) would share with each other a database of drivers involved in accidents so that only those who were proven reckless are penalized.

She said such a database would also help operators in their hiring of drivers.

"Kami ay humihingi ng konting konsultasyon naman [kung] paano talaga maso-solusyonan ang problemang ito nang hindi isang sektor lang ang tinitignan natin," Adducul told dzMM.

Tolentino yesterday recommended that city bus drivers should undergo psychiatric tests and secure certification from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) before being given a new license.

Tolentino said he is set to submit the recommendation today. He also assured drivers that their work will not be significantly interrupted with the new measure.

"Hindi sila mawawalan ng hanapbuhay. Magkakaroon lang na grace period na 30 days para mag-qualify sila sa TESDA, makakuha ng bagong lisenya at magkakaroon din ng puwang para kumuha sila ng psychiatric exams,” he said in a separate interview on dzMM on Friday.

"Mawawala na ang agam-agam na karamihan ay basta na lang nakakakuha ng lisensya at hindi dumadaan sa mahigpit na proseso. Pati iyung may maraming track record ng aksidente ay maaalis na natin sa lansangan."