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Monday, June 24, 2024

Tulfo criticizes PUVMP, seeks overhaul of transportation policies

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In his inaugural consultative meeting as chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, Sen. Raffy Tulfo addressed pressing issues in the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

The meeting, held on Monday at the Senate, brought together various government agencies to discuss the ongoing challenges and proposed improvements under the new Senate leadership of Senate President Francis Escudero.

Tulfo raised significant concerns about the DOTr’s decision to import modern jeepneys from China rather than supporting local manufacturers who can produce these vehicles at a lower cost.

This move has sparked protests and jeepney strikes, with transport groups arguing that the modernization program’s implementation has been unfair, particularly targeting jeepneys that have failed to consolidate under the new rules.

Highlighting the need for a more effective approach to modernization, Tulfo urged the DOTr to reform their strategies to alleviate traffic congestion and address other critical road issues.

Turning his attention to the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), Tulfo expressed deep concerns over the frequent breakdowns and persistent maintenance problems with elevators and escalators at various stations.

He questioned the efficacy of the current maintenance service provider, Sumitomo Corporation, and suggested the need for a more reliable contractor to ensure smoother operations and better service for commuters.

In addressing maritime safety, Tulfo issued a stern reminder to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) to enhance their oversight.

He emphasized the importance of rigorous seaworthiness inspections and mandated that passenger vessels be equipped with adequate life vests and lifeboats. He said his goal is to prevent any more tragic boat accidents during his tenure as Public Services Chairperson.

Tulfo also voiced his concerns about the lax security protocols surrounding VIP chartered planes at airports. He warned that insufficient screening could facilitate the smuggling of contraband into and out of the country.

The senator pledged his support for the DOTr’s budget to establish dedicated processing centers for these chartered flights, ensuring comprehensive security checks are in place.

Before concluding the consultative meeting, Tulfo requested that each agency present detailed reports on their recent accomplishments and current assessments.

He stressed that these reports are crucial for him to review and develop policies that will drive meaningful improvements across the transportation sector.

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