Photo courtesy of Arphil Ballarta

Drivers and operators of public utility vehicles at the Puerto Princesa Land Transport Terminal in Barangay San Jose were caught off guard when personnel of Land transportation Office (LTO) and other law enforcement agencies conducted a surprise inspection on Tuesday afternoon, April 12.

The LTO, together with the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP HPG) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Palawan, conducted the surprise inspection dubbed “Oplan B’yaheng Ayos” of the Department of Transportation (DoT) in connection with the preparation for the Holy Week 2022 and summer vacation, when tourists and visitors flock to Puerto Princesa City and the province of Palawan.

According to LTO deputy chief Albert C. Acosta, the inspection was carried out to ensure passenger safety as well as to evaluate the drivers’ and vehicles’ documents to see if they met the criteria of public transportation law.

“Itong ginagawa namin ngayon ay para sa parating na mahal na araw. Ito po ay Oplan B’yaheng Ayos. Taun-taon naming ginagawa ito at ang pinaka-purpose nito ay ipaalala sa mga driver ng mga sasakyan lalo na iyong pampasahero na mag-ingat sila palagi dahil may mga sakay silang pasahero at para ligtas ang kanilang pagbyahe sa pagpunta sa kanilang destinasyon,” Acosta said.

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Meanwhile, PDEA agents used their K9 unit to verify passengers’ cargoes, while the PNP HPG examined the vehicles’ condition and features, such as tires, plate numbers, and lights, to ensure that they were roadworthy.

“Chini-check namin lahat pati ang dokumento at physical ng sasakyan –ang mga gulong mga signal light, head lights, lahat ng attributes sa isang sasakyan na magdudulot ng kaligtasan sa pagbyahe nila, at ang mga dokumento naman kung naayon doon sa nere-require ng batas.” Acosta added.

Acosta said they have only detected minor violations during the inspection thus far, and they have simply reminded the drivers to correct the problems as soon as possible so that they can travel light and safely, especially during Holy Week.

“May mga minor po (lumabag sa batas), although ang pinaka-aim is i-remind sila para mai-correct nila kaagad at kung magbyahe man sila kinabukasan ay na-correct na dapat iyon,” he said.

“Ang layunin po ng LTO kasama ng PDEA at high way patrol ay masiguro ang kaligtasan ng pagbyahe nila. Kaya para doon sa mga driver, palagi naming paala-ala na mag-ingat palagi dahil dala-dala nila ang buhay ng mga pasahero at sa pamamagitan ng pagiging ligtas na pagmamaneho ay magkaroon tayo ng matiwasay na pagbyahe sa ganitong panahon,” Acosta added.

Meanwhile, on April 11, the Philippines Coast Guard (PCG) held an inspection event in Puerto Princesa Sea Port in collaboration with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) to ensure the safe travel of Palaweños and visitors to the province during the long holiday.

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