Monday, May 22, 2017

PPA urges port users, report 
abusive drivers, errant guards

TAGBILARAN CITY, May 17, (PIA)--Go back and complain. 

Amidst unabated complaints of overcharging tricycle drivers, unethical taxi and tourist van drivers as well as security guards accepting bribes, commissions or grease when picking rides at the Tagbilaran City Port, authorities dare those who feel shortchanged: report to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) Port Management Office (PMO). 

Tagbilaran City Port, already packaged by the PPA as a tourism port is the tourist's first experience of Bohol and authorities want it to be a lasting impression of hospitality in Bohol. 

But, along with these, port users still continue to have far-from-pleasant experience catching a fare at the port tricycle and taxi lanes. 

In earlier attempts to solve overcharging by vulture drivers preying on innocent tourists and port commuters, the city government put up a dispatcher to hand to queuing commuters pieces of paper with the tricycle numbers and hotlines to facilitate complaints. 

Moreover, the city also put up in billboards publishing tariff rates to forewarn commuters about the fares. 

While tourist vans and taxi regulations fall under the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, tricycle operations is a function delegated to the local government unit, thus the city government. 

Short of doing nothing, commuters who have their share of misfortune with the port commute, more often than not, resort to social media to vent out their ire. 

The problem however continues. 

To help them keep track of these concerns, PPA safety and information officer Archt. Epelito Arao-arao revealed that the PPA has put up full closed circuit television (CCTV) coverage to all areas of the port. 

We have CCTVs, for security and safety. If you have problems, we can help you check on the CCTVs, and find the overcharging driver, drunks driver or just anybody picking the wrong bags. 

This, he said would provide the proof for the PPA to get to the errant drivers, should a proper complaint be filed, Araoarao said. 

As to the complaints, he said they can also be against malpractices at the port, like security guards taking bribes for facilitated transactions. 

PPA however did not mention what they would do should a port user be found out to be errant, although the PPA may have the right to deny the entry of drivers whom they have found to be abusive. 

"We are putting in a culture of safety, security and discipline at the port," the safety officer declared. 

He also said that "the Port manager is very strict against bribery and greasing, any violations would lead to automatic discharge, if the personnel is a port worker." 

As it is certain that the adoption of may not cause the needed change immediately, Archt. Araoarao called on port users to adopt the culture. 

Violations occurring within the operational area of the PPA, starting from the entrance guard house to its buildings, erring port personnel or port users like abusive transportation drivers, can be reported, he said. 

As the PPA implements the new culture, authorities have urged support from the public, stressing that through the public's help, they can make for the better. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)
PPA safety and security division chief Archt Epelito Araoarao urges everyone with an unfortunate experience of getting unfair treatment within the premises of the Tagbilaran City port to file a complaint at the PMO so the PPA can impose immediate action to discipline their ports users or employees. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

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