Press Releases
DOLE, LTFRB, LTO Converge to Assure Transport Safety for Workers

 

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Office 1 has met with officials from the regional offices of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Land Transportation Office (LTO) in a consultative meeting on May 19, 2021 via video teleconferencing, in an aim to ensure the continuous health and safety of the riding public, including the workers.
 
The DOLE initiated the meeting to consult with LTFRB and LTO and identify potential convergence opportunities to boost commuters' confidence in using public transportation, amidst the persisting threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
"The riding public is comprised primarily by essential workers and employees, who definitely cannot stay home because of the nature of their jobs," said DOLE RO1 Regional Director Atty. Evelyn R. Ramos. "Their services in their respective essential sectors are vital to pump up the local economy, and so we need to assure their safety in their travel to and from workplaces," she said.
 
LTFRB Regional Director Nasrudin Talipasan reported that the LTRFB now implements a program that provides free rides to essential workers, or the Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APORs). In Region 1, these LTFRB-sponsored free jeepney rides are now plying in Vigan City – Sinait route in Ilocos Sur; and Tayug-Urdaneta City via Asingan in Pangasinan. Meanwhile, routes in La Union and Ilocos Norte will open soon.
 
On the other hand, LTO Supervising Transportation Regulation Officer Engr. Eric Suriben relayed that his office is currently conducting strengthened inspection of motor vehicles, including public utility jeeps (PUJs) and buses (PUBs). In accordance to its roles set by the IATF, the LTO ensures that PUJs and PUBs are strictly enforcing health protocols such as the proper wearing of face masks and face shields of commuters and drivers; temperature checking prior to embarkation; and the installation of plastic barriers to separate commuters. Health protocol reminders should also be visibly posted within the vehicles.
 
By virtue of various department orders and legal bases, the DOLE is likewise mandated to conduct inspection in workplaces, including public transport. It ensures that occupational safety and health standards are observed in public utility vehicles.
 
At the end of the meeting, the DOLE, LTO and LTFRB have agreed to schedule joint inspection activities in public vehicles, as they continue to enjoin drivers and commuters to strictly observe public health standards.
 
"We deeply recognize the contributions of the workers in our country's crisis recovery. By ensuring that they have safe transits to and from their workplaces, we continue to uphold the welfare of our laborers, both in formal and informal economies," said RD Ramos.
 
Also present in the meeting were DOLE Assistant Regional Director Honorina Baga, TSSD Chief Teresa Bonavente, and labor inspectors. END/Justin Paul Marbella.
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2021-05-21
RD Evelyn R. Ramos
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