By ADELA DEYAEN WAYAS
BAGUIO CITY — Special order 2010-115 signed by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Jose P. De Jesus was received by the DOTC-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) designating Federico Mandapat Jr. to another office.
In the special order dated September 17, Mandapat was reassigned to the Office of the Undersecretary for Road and Maritime Transport while Celina B. Claver, Director III DOTC-CAR, was designated as the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the office of the Regional Director.
Zenaida B. Biteng, Legal Officer III was designated as OIC of the Office of the Assistant Regional Director.
Claver said that her position as the OIC is temporary until set by the Secretary as permanent. She clarified that there were no specific plans yet with regards to her department. “I would not declare policies which I know I could not continue, as of now,” she explained.
She said, “My status here as OIC has limitations in making or implementing plans. So we have to regularly coordinate implementations.” Claver added that before they can implement programs and plans of the department, they have to check with everyone if these are feasible.
On the other hand, Claver said that the implementation of the Department Order No. 2008-39, on fines and penalties on violations, is justifiable. It is a hot issue among the drivers and other motorists.
“I think it’s about time that it is increased,” Claver said. The order which sets the general rules on violations, fines and penalties on issues related to the Land Transportation Office was implemented in 2009 which drew drivers’ protest in many parts of the country.
The OIC said that a 100 pesos fine is negligible and it is low. “Because if we do not increase it, that is tantamount to not imposing a penalty which is disciplinary in nature,” she explained. However, after the implementation of the order, the transport groups say this is another burden they have to shoulder.
The Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (PISTON) says that DO 2008-39 should be suspended. The group has always been active in calling the attention of the government to suspend the order.
Claver said, “with regards to the complaints of the drivers that arresting officers are arrogant when they question drivers on violations”. She admitted that this is wrong. “May karapatan din naman ang mga drivers na itanong kung ano ang kanilang naging violation,” she said. She reminded the law enforcers to be courteous and polite in the streets. # nordis.net