Gov’t launches chatbot for reporting dilapidated, smoke-belching PUVs

Aika Rey
Gov’t launches chatbot for reporting dilapidated, smoke-belching PUVs
Dubbed as 'Sumbong Bulok, Sumbong Usok,' the platform is available on Inter-Agency Council for Traffic's Facebook page for concerned citizens to send reports via Messenger

MANILA, Philippines – Saw a smoke-belching public utility vehicle (PUV) on the road? You can now report it to government officials online.

Transportation officials launched a reporting chatbot on Facebook for traffic violations on Tuesday, February 26. Dubbed as “Sumbong Bulok, Sumbong Usok,” the platform is available on Inter-Agency Council for Traffic’s (iACT) Facebook page for concerned citizens to send reports via Facebook Messenger.

The chatbot will ask for the complainant’s contact information, location, and photos or videos of the concerned PUV. A ticketing number system is also employed to allow complainants to follow up on their reports.

According to Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assistant Secretary Mark de Leon, the government launched the chatbot due to the number of reports the department receives daily. (READ: ‘Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok’ ops sweep off dilapidated jeepneys)

“We developed this, with the instructions of Undersecretary Thomas Orbos, because we receive complaints almost everyday. This move is to really enforce roadworthiness and emission-compliances of PUVs,” De Leon said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Aside from dilapidated PUVs, netizens can also report illegal parking incidents, vendors illegally occupying streets, and colorum vehicles, among others.

The DOTrs said iACT member-agencies will resolve complaints based on their jurisdictions. The agencies are the DOTr, the Metro Manila Development Authority, Land Transportation Office, Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Metro Manila Council, and supporting local government units.

The launching of the platform is the government’s latest move to sweep off dilapidated PUVs from Philippine roads.

Transport groups and students earlier protested against the program, calling it an “anti-people” policy.– Rappler.com

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.