Staying safe

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has come up with another measure that it hopes will make public transport safer, or at least help with contact tracing efforts to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

In Memorandum Circular No. 2021-041, the LTFRB mandates all operators of public utility vehicles to register with the StaySafe.ph App and create QR codes for their units.

The QR codes should be displayed at the entrance door and inside the vehicle for immediate view and use of passengers.

The PUV driver will then require all passengers to access and use the QR Code whenevrer they board and alight the PUVs.

According to MC 2021-041, operators are then supposed to “make available to the LTFRB all data obtained from the application whenever necessary, subject to ther applicable provisions of the Data Privacy Act.”

The memorandum also directs operators to also “coordinate with StaySafe.ph for assistance in collecting and using data obtained in contact tracing.”

This new requirement is supposed to be effective beginning on June 21, 2021.

“Failure to comply herewith shall be considered as a violation of IATF Health Protocols, and the corresponding penalties shall be imposed,” the memorandum said.

A press statement announcing the new requirement added that PUV operators not complying with provisions of MC 2021-041 face penalties including fines and cancellations of certificate of public convenience or provisional authority to operate.

However, while the memorandum doesn’t specifically mention this, the new requirement presupposes that passengers have smartphones with the StaySafe.ph App which will be used to scan the QR codes on vehicles.

There’s the rub.

What about passengers who don’t have smart phones?

This is among the many questions found in the comments section of the official LTFRB Facebook page announcing the new requirement.

A cursory look at the comments show people are angry about another requirement for a simple commute.

Many are confused by the apparent lack of clarity about the mandatory use of the StaySafe.ph App.

Maybe the LTFRB and the IATF should mount a more effective communication campaign about the StaySafe.ph App, how it can be downloaded and used, and its benefits and effectivity as a mode for contact tracing.

People should be more receptive to its use with more clarity.

Release the Raptor

Ford Philippines isn’t resting on its laurels after claiming leadership of the 4×4 pickup segment.

It has unleashed two more 4×4 variants into the fray— the Ranger Raptor X and the Wildtrak 4×4 with Power Roller Shutter.

“The Ranger Raptor X leverages on the immense success of the Ranger Raptor in the market as we continue to boost our 4×4 truck lineup and reach a new group of performance pickup enthusiasts who are into aesthetic modifications,” said Michael Breen, Ford Philippines managing director.

Ford said the Raptor X is a limited edition model, as only 200 will be issued.

It comes with a lot of cosmetic upgrades inside and out to distinguish  it from Raptors not tagged with the X

But of interest to off-roaders is the Terrain Management System (TMS) in the Raptor X that offers six modes for various driving experiences, including the Baja mode, as well as the  2.5-inch FOX Racing shocks capable of delivering 30 percent more wheel travel compared to the standard Ranger.

As for the new Wildtrak 4×4 variant, Ford said it has added power roller shutters, an OEM product providing greater security and functionality when transporting cargo.

Ford said its OEM power roller shutter can be activated from inside the cabin through a switch on the dashboard, via a button in the tray, or by using the key fob. It also has  an anti-pinch feature.

Suzuki expanding

Bacolod should have another monicker besides “The City of Smiles.”

It can now be also called  “The City of Twin Suzuki Dealerships.”

Suzuki Philippines, in partnership with Ponce Automobile Corporation, has official opened the doors to the Suzuki Auto North Bacolod dealership.

The second dealership in Bacolod is strategically situated along Lacson St., Mandalagan, and features an four-vehicle showroom and a service area with four working bays.

“Despite the current difficulties, Suzuki remains determined in finding avenues to build our presence,” said Keiichi Suzuki, EVP of Suzuki Philippines.

Happy Motoring!!!

For comments & inquiries email [email protected] or visit www.motoringtoday.ph.

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