Sotto: Country needs political will, not stricter traffic laws

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THE country has enough laws to ensure the safety of motorists and passengers what is lacking is the political will on the part of the  agencies that should supposed to implement it, Senate deputy minority leader Vicente Sotto 3rd said Monday.

Sotto cited the recently approved Republic Act 10586, or the anti-drunk and driving law, which was signed by president Benigno Aquino 3rd last May 7.

According to him government agencies tasked to come up with implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the law like Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC); Department of Health (DOH); and the National Police Commission (Napolcom) have yet to finish the IRR.

The IRR is needed for the implementation of the law as well as the procurement of the breath analyzers, drug testing kits, pen lights, and other tools.


But Sotto said that even with the absence of an IRR, government agencies assigned to enforce the law should have started implementing it.

The law penalizes the acts of driving under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs and other intoxicating substances.

An imprisonment of three months if the violation did not result in death or physical injury, but If the violation results in death or physical injury, the appropriate penalties provided in the Revised Penal Code shall be applied.

The law also paved the way to the abolition of the mandatory drug-testing requirement of the Land Transportation Office for driver’s license applicants instead, drug testing will just conducted to drivers involved in vehicular accidents.

“We should not be held hostage by the IRR. The law has already been enacted and it should be implemented with or without the IRR,” the senator said.

Sotto raised the issue when asked about his reaction regarding the Monday morning road mishap involving a passenger bus owned by Don Mariano transit killing 18 passengers and wounding 16 others.

Under the law, Sotto said, the driver of the ill-fated bus should still undergo tests whether dead or alive to determine his condition on the time of the accident.

The bus operator could be held liable if ever the test on the driver turned out positive because it is the responsibility of operators to make sure that their employees are not drug dependents considering that they are transporting people.

“There are already strict guidelines eh the problem is whether they are being implemented or whether they are being followed strictly,” he noted.

The deputy minority leader also called on the senate committee on public order to look into the matter and egged the proper authorities to act faster swiftly.

As for the operator of the ill-fated passenger bus, Sotto said the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) should cancel its franchise if found that the company has been involved in accidents in the past.  Jefferson Antiporda

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