Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo yesterday questioned the legality and rejected the Joint Administrative Order 2014-01 of the Department of Transportation and Communication/Land Transportation Office and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, that he called “stupid”.
He discussed issues and concerns on the JAO 2014-01 and other land transportation and traffic laws yesterday with three LTO District Office chiefs in the province, and heads of transport groups and the Federation of Transport Associations of Negros Oriental.
The JAO stipulates stiffer fines and penalties for colorum vehicles and other traffic violations and when Degamo was informed that the order is being implemented nationwide, he said he believes the measure cannot supersede Republic Act 4136, or the Land Transportation Code of the Philippines.
He questioned the legal authority of the DOTC/LTO and LTFRB in executing JAO 2014-01, that he said, is not aligned with RA 4136. However, he could not be specific about his reason for his belief.
Degamo insisted that there must be some ways to prevent its enforcement in Negros Oriental, saying it would affect a large majority of the transport sector, and that it is unfair and unjust.
Alberta Janine Lawas, chief of the LTO-Bais District Office, offered to provide a copy of the JAO 2014-01 to Degamo, and cited provisions, such as an executive order, that were made as bases for the DOTC/LTO and LTFRB to increase the fines and penalties of certain traffic violations.
Lawas said the LTO district offices are only implementers of the law and
recommended that Degamo meet with officials of LTO and LTFRB regional offices on the concerns of yesterday’s meeting.
She said the LTO and LTFRB regional offices will conduct massive joint roadside operations in Negros Oriental starting next week to implement the JAO 2014-01.
The agencies will pay a courtesy call on Degamo Monday before their operations, he added.
FETANO president Victor Miramon said their members are within the bounds of the law in the implementation of JAO 2014-01, except for the provision that holds the operator liable if his or her driver is found guilty of a violation.
The schedule of penalties is too much, Miramon, who operates vans-for-hire, said. He lamented that JAO 2014-01 zeroes in on public transport instead of including private vehicles.
Majority of the transport groups represented in the meeting said they were not consulted before the creation of the new law. Miramon said they are appealing to the LTO to be given time for the judgment on their protest before they are made to pay the fines and penalties.
Under JAO 2014-01, a violation can be contested, but adjudication will be done at the regional office level, Lawas said.*JFP