LTO: Some 2,000 PUV drivers given suspension orders for traffic violations since November

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 6) — Around 2,000 public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers have been suspended since November from plying national roads due to multiple traffic violations, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) said Friday.

These are drivers who have been apprehended three or more times in a year for traffic infractions, including loading or unloading of passengers in prohibited areas and disregarding traffic signs.

In total, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has submitted to LTO a list of 12,000 erring PUV drivers.

“We are sending [these drivers] show-cause order to explain, so that if they have justifiable reasons for the violation, they might get shorter suspension or lighter sanction,” said LTO Asst. Secretary Edgar Galvante.

Following this order would be an automatic 90-day preventive suspension.

“This is the provision of [Republic Act No.] 4136 na matagal na nating na-neglect,” said MMDA Traffic Chief Bong Nebrija.

[Translation: This is the provision of Republic Act No. 4136 that we have long neglected.]

Authorities have also coordinated with PUV operators and asked them to bar those cited for traffic violations from driving on national roads.

Asked what will happen to PUV drivers who were already suspended but still continue to drive, Galvante said this may result in revocation of license.

Less PUVs in Metro Manila

Starting March 9, Monday, authorities will be stationed in dispatch areas to confiscate licenses of those already suspended but still drive on the roads.

According to Nebrija, the estimated 2,000 suspended drivers constitute around 30 percent of drivers in Metro Manila, and thus, the move may greatly affect commuters.

“Ibig sabihin niyan, kaunti ang bus sa EDSA. Walang traffic, pero kawawa yung mga commuters natin,” he said.

[Translation: That means there will be less buses in EDSA. There will be no traffic, but our commuters will bear the brunt.]

Expecting less PUVs starting Monday, Nebrija advised commuters to “adjust their time.”

“Make it early so that if ever you will be affected by this, there's ample time for you to recover para hindi kayo ma-late. You have to find alternative transportation to your office,” he said.