Malacañang on Tuesday said that it would consider the proposal to require bus operators to install speed limiting devices on their vehicles to prevent deadly accidents.
Speed-limiters are devices that automatically stops acceleration when a vehicle exceeds the speed limit.
In a press conference, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said such a monitoring device could benefit bus operators, to ensure bus drivers do not over-speed.
“It will be for the benefit of the bus operators kasi pati iyong pagsunod ng kanilang mga drivers to proper speed limits will also affect the fuel efficiency of their vehicles [It will be for the benefit of the bus operators because they can make sure drivers observe speed limits while going at a speed that will also affect the fuel efficiency of their vehicles],” he explained
However, Coloma said that Congress would be in the best position to study the matter and pass the appropriate bill.
For instance, he cited the case of the Seat Belt Law, which was eventually passed and is now a requirement in public transportation.
On one hand, the Palace official rejected proposals for the government to take over bus operations.
He noted that the government would rather continue letting the private sector operate public transport as it is more efficient.
“Kung maaring gampanan ang paglilingkod ng private sector, mas mainam sila ang magsagawa nito with proper regulation from the government to protect and promote public interest [If it is possible, we would let the private sector take over the operations. It is better that the private sector operate the companies, with proper regulation by the government to protect and promote public interest],” he added.
Meanwhile, Coloma assured public that the government is determined to ensure the safety of the public.
He said that the government observe the principles of enforcement, engineering and education in preventing a repeat of the bus tragedy.
Also, Coloma said that the Department of Labor and Employment will closely monitor compliance by bus operators of occupational health and safety standards
The DOLE’s department order compels bus operators to secure a Labor Standards and Compliance Certificate as a requirement for renewing their franchises, he said.
“The Aquino administration has always prioritized the safety of the riding public. The objective is to prevent irresponsible operators and reckless drivers from obtaining government permission to operate unsafe vehicles that place the lives of the riding public at risk,” Coloma added.
On Monday, a Don Mariano Transit bound for Pacita Complex, San Pedro City, Laguna, fell from the Skyway and crushed the van on the southbound lane of the South Luzon Express Way service road.
At least 18 people were killed and 16 more were hurt in the incident. CATHERINE S. VALENTE