She’s a new breed of government servant

We take our hat off lawyer Teresita Yniguez, regional director of the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for showing she is among the very few who met the standard of new breed of ideal government servants, one of few names that we have cited so far in this column.

This she showed with her sensitiveness on issues raised by some people concerning operation of government agencies like the one she heads at the regional level.

Yes, Director Yniguez was quick on the draw with her immediate reaction to an item in our column regarding the implementation of an LTFRB policy attendant to the implementation of the government program purportedly aimed at improving the nationwide taxi operation.

As we mentioned in our column on the issue last January 26, 2018, an immediate clarification from the LTFRB would not only help educate us on the policy but the operators and drivers who will stand to be affected the most. We have to agree that this is a laudable move. After all, the end objective is to ensure the welfare of the riding public.

We do not know however, if the LTFRB, or whoever is the proponent of this policy from within and without, is aware of the contingent opportunity for corruption and shenanigan by some shrewd agency officials and corporate executives.

According to Director Yniguez, under LTFRB’s Circular issued last November 27, one of the guidelines cited that “prior to calibration and sealing/resealing, taxi units must be equipped with GNSS receiver, free wi-fi, CCTV with coninuous recording for 72 hours, and dashboard camera and on-line digital platforms in compliance with the public utility vehicle modernization program.”

We have no doubt that all these do not come for free. And definitely the LTFRB and the Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) engaged would not foot the bill; it is either  the taxi operators and drivers, or both, depending on their arrangement. How much money will be needed  as add-on investment?  Well, the amount is dependent on the number of taxi cab units an operator has.

Let’s just have some general estimation based on clearly verifiable number of taxi cab units on record at the LTFRB and the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

For example, how much is the cost of one unit GNSS receiver, a CCTV unit, a dashboard camera and the on-line digital platforms? Add them up and multiply them with the number of taxi units all over the country. That would be the volume of business that these requirements help the suppliers generate. That is something for the imagination.

Now can we blame if people will entertain ideas that certain officials of the government agencies herein-mentioned may have found opportunities to make easy money in cahoots with some executives of corporations that are supplying the gadgets and its attendant installation services?

Really, everything that the taxi drivers have been aspiring for, specifically the increase in fare rates to improve their take-home income, is not likely to come if they do not have the money to pay for the requirements attendant to the grant of their petition.

And from what we gathered from some drivers there are operators who have offered to shoulder the cost. But the amount representing the cost of some of the gadgets will have to be in the account of the drivers subject to inclusion in his daily boundary.

With all the delays and hassles  brought about by these added bureaucratic layers we still hope that the regional LTFRB office under the watch of the silent-working and upright lady director, will be able to reciprocate with a more facilitative service once the requirements are complied.

After all, that is what the Martin Delgra-led LTFRB intends to achieve under his term. And that is what Davaoeno President Rodrigo Duterte is expecting of that agency under his administration.

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