Authorities flag down smoke-belching, dilapidated vehicles

Eloisa Lopez
Authorities flag down smoke-belching, dilapidated vehicles
The owners or drivers of these vehicles are given 24 hours to appear before the Land Transportation Office, where roadworthiness tests will be conducted

MANILA, Philippines – Authorities flagged down public utility vehicles (PUVs) and private cars in parts of Metro Manila on Monday, January 8, for the Tanggal Usok, Tanggal Bulok campaign of the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (i-ACT).

The campaign, run by i-ACT’s Task Force Alamid, aims to get rid of smoke-belching, dilapidated, and other “road-unworthy” vehicles, as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Among the vehicles flagged down on Monday were buses along EDSA and jeepneys along Agham Road in Quezon City, for smoke-belching, damaged wheels, unhinged screws, broken side mirrors, and rusty auto parts.

“Supposedly this ‘road-unworthy’ [bus] should already be impounded, but there’s no order for that yet,” Task Force Alamid officer Teddy Barandino said after flagging down a dilapidated Stella Mae bus.

“Hindi na siya worthy magdala ng buhay ng mga pasahero (It’s not worthy to carry passengers). But we will follow the procedure na i-summon muna sila (which states they must be summoned first) to LTO where they will be tested,” he added.

Once flagged down, the vehicles and their owners or drivers are given subpoenas to report to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) within 24 hours for tests on smoke emission and roadworthiness.

Only those who pass will be allowed back on the road, while those who fail will be impounded. Failure to appear before the LTO within 24 hours will also put the vehicle on Task Force Alamid’s “hunted” list.

FLAGGED DOWN. Task Force Alamid flags down a jeepney driver on January 8, 2018. Photo by Eloisa Lopez/Rappler

Rodjan Obdosantos, a driver whose jeepney has damaged wheels, was among the motorists flagged down along Agham Road. He explained that he does not own the jeepney, and was instructed to have it fixed on its number coding day.

Although bothered by the damage, Obdosantos said he must earn a living.

“Wala po kasi akong panggastos, kaya kailangan ko din bumiyahe (I don’t have enough money, so I also have to continue working),” he added. (READ: ‘Penalize owner, not driver, for smoke-belching vehicles’)

The campaign is expected to run on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in Mega Manila, which includes Metro Manila cities, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite.

Task Force Alamid includes enforcers from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Philippine National Police (PNP) Highway Patrol Group (HPG), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and local government units (LGUs).

The task force was initially formed in preparation for heavier traffic last Christmas season. –

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