Pro­hibit­ing drunk pas­sen­gers from board­ing PUVs pushed

Sun.Star Baguio - - OPINION -

CCourtITING a 2007 de­ci­sion by the Supreme of the Philip­pines that pointed out the dan­gers of drunk pas­sen­gers in pub­lic util­ity ve­hi­cles (PUVs), City Coun­cilor Joel Alangsab has come up with a pro­posed mea­sure that would pro­hibit drunk in­di­vid­u­als from rid­ing or board­ing any pub­lic util­ity ve­hi­cle in the City of Baguio.

In his pro­posed or­di­nance Coun­cilor Alangsab pointed out the ob­ser­va­tion made by the Supreme Court in the case of Peo­ple of the Philip­pines vs. Glino, G.R. No. 173793, De­cem­ber 4, 2007 stated thus, “For in­stance, present law pro­hibits and pun­ishes only drunk driv­ing. There is no law ban­ning a drunk per­son from rid­ing a pub­lic ve­hi­cle, or the driver from al­low­ing a per­son who ap­pears to be drunk to aboard a pub­lic con­veyance. A drunk pas­sen­ger or one un­der the in­flu­ence of liquor or drugs poses a ver­i­ta­ble peril to the other pas­sen­gers. He is prone to re­act ir­ra­tionally and vi­o­lently, due to lack or diminu­tion of self-con­trol. Sense­less loss of lives and phys­i­cal harm can be avoided, and the ring pub­lic duly pro­tected, if the po­ten­tial dan­ger posed by drunk pas­sen­gers can be ad­dressed”.

The Supreme Court also made the fol­low­ing open­ing state­ment in the afore­men­tioned de­ci­sion thus, “Be­ware of drunk pas­sen­gers. They pose dan­ger to life and limb. Merely talk­ing to them or telling them to sit prop­erly can be fa­tal, as what hap­pened to one of two vic­tims in the case at bar”.

In his pro­posed or­di­nance Coun­cilor Alangsab ex­plains that it is high time for the City Gov­ern­ment of Baguio to “flex its mus­cle and reg­u­late the most open mode of trans­porta­tion in the city to ad­dress the above­men­tioned po­ten­tial dan­ger as well as to pre­serve the con­ve­nience of our rid­ing pub­lic”.

Un­der the pro­posed reg­u­la­tion a drunk per­son is de­fined as “some­one whose phys­i­cal and men­tal fac­ul­ties are im­paired by an ex­cess of al­co­holic drink. It may be char­ac­ter­ized by act­ing un­ruly, rowdy, dis­or­derly, loudly, wildly, ir­ra­tionally, and vi­o­lently due to lack or diminu­tion of self­con­trol”.

It is also pro­vided for in the said pro­posed or­di­nance that “all op­er­a­tors, driv­ers and op­er­a­tors and driver’s as­so­ci­a­tion, bus com­pa­nies, bark­ers and con­duc­tors of pub­lic util­ity ve­hi­cles oper­at­ing within the ter­ri­to­rial ju­ris­dic­tion of Baguio or main­tain­ing, stag­ing, load­ing or tem­i­nals shall not al­low any per­son who is drunk to aboard said PUVs’”.

Rel­a­tive to the above, any wil­ful vi­o­la­tion of the pro­posed reg­u­la­tion, by any jeep­ney driver, jeep­ney as­so­ci­a­tion, bus com­pany, barker or con­duc­tor, as well as any drunk pas­sen­ger shall be pe­nal­ized with the fol­low­ing: for the first of­fense a fine of 500 pe­sos; for the sec­ond of­fense a fine of 1,000 pe­sos; for the third of­fense a fine of 3,000 pe­sos and for the sub­se­quent of­fenses a fine of 5,000 pe­sos or im­pris­on­ment for a pe­riod not ex­ceed­ing 6 months or both at the dis­cre­tion of the court.

Upon it ap­proval and ef­fec­tiv­ity PUVs shall promi­nently dis­play in their ve­hi­cles a sig­nage con­tain­ing the warn­ing that, “Drunk Pas­sen­gers are not al­lowed to Board”, as well as other per­ti­nent data rel­a­tive to the said pro­hi­bi­tion.

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