The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) was reported to be looking into the refusal of jeepney drivers to give students discounts during the long school break.
LTFRB Chair Winston Ginez was quoted in media reports as saying the agency “will review and revise” the memorandum on student fare discount, particularly since many colleges and universities would have longer breaks because of the change in the academic calendar.
I would suggest that Ginez not just look into discounts but should also have people checking for compliance with LTFRB’s fare matrix. Many jeepney drivers seem to have forgotten that the current minimum fare is P7.50.
Robinsons Place Manila is just a jeepney ride away from where I live, and the trip costs only the minimum fare. But these days, every time I take the jeepney to go to the mall and I do not have the exact fare, the driver takes P8. I have to ask for the additional 50 centavos.
I do not think he overcharges me because he does not have 50 centavos. He is usually able, with great reluctance to be sure, to give me my exact change when I demand it.
Even jeepneys plying longer routes try to collect P8 instead of the approved minimum fare. And yet some of these jeepneys continue to display the most recent fare matrix issued by LTFRB.
This is another example of how people deliberately break rules thinking they can get away with it. And they often get away with it, as many people do not bother to complain, thinking 50 centavos is too small an amount to worry about. In fact, when I ask for the 50 centavos, some passengers look at me like I am being difficult over such a measly amount.
Ginez and LTFRB compliance officers probably do not take the jeepney or any public utility vehicle, so they would not know about this violation.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has opened the Institute of Traffic Management which, according to newspaper reports, “shall be the premier educational institution for training and continuing education of all traffic management personnel, traffic law enforcers and traffic accident investigators of both local and national government agencies.”
The institute, reports further said, “will also cater to traffic violators and erring motorists who need to undergo reorientation and seminars on traffic rules.”
It would certainly help to have traffic enforcement officers who know the rules thoroughly. Motorists often complain that traffic officers have only vague notions of the regulations they are supposed to implement, and cannot explain clearly and adequately what rules they have violated.
As for “reorienting” motorists, we should start with “orienting,” a more pressing need, although this is probably not part of MMDA’s responsibilities.
Many drivers are issued licenses without any knowledge of the universal traffic signs— you know, the triangle-, round-, octagonal-shaped signs on the roads. They often do not understand what yellow, double or broken lines on the roads mean. Some straddle lane dividers thinking they are supposed to drive with that white line at the center of their vehicles.
An acquaintance was telling me about the procedure her daughter went through to get a driver’s license. By paying a certain amount, the written test, which was supposed to gauge knowledge of traffic rules, was accomplished by someone else. And there was no actual driving test at all.
No wonder anyone who can get a car in and out of the garage or who never held a steering wheel can get a professional driver’s license.
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