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A turtled PUJ in Boalan

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(BY: REV. BERLIE G. YAP) JVC 171, this is not a number combination for lottery but the plate number of a public utility jeepney (PUJ), plying Lazones-Pueblo, which met an accident along the stretch of Boalan Highway, bumping a concrete post, hurt and threw-out tens of passengers from the vehicle.

It was a bloody early vehicular accident yesterday, March 25, morning which mixed-up the local press and radio stations for coverage. Because the site was only close to Baranggay eMedia, it was the first media outfit to come to the scene and report it to the public.

How in the world can a motorist turtle in a four-lane highway, unless it has mechanical defects, or the driver is just imprudent, or worse he is in the influence of any substance or alcohol! Another factor is the over-speeding, observantly, by these usual PUJs, either in the East or West Coast.

Common career individuals—drivers, must learn the lessons of these repeated accidents. No amount of speed can quantify the value of lives you may hurt, whom you are entrusted as a good father in the tenor of our statutes. Multiple serious physical injuries and another homicide are the possible criminal liabilities of the driver.

Baranggay eMedia wishes to plea the highway patrol and other responsible authorities to indeed check the speed limits of our City PUJ’s plying both in the East and the West Coast. It could be that the residents in these baranggays, though, are already used to their speeds as daily patrons, thus, they don’t anymore complain.

But we are talking here about human lives and limbs which are the ones at stake. Damage to properties can only be financially compensated but not the loss of human lives. Now, how are the driver and the jeepney operator of that turtle PUJ this time? Both are in severe headaches for their civil and criminal problems to the passengers and to ZAMCELCO, because of the post it bumped.

Probably, if the post wasn’t there, the jeepney could have bumped a worse object or another vehicle. Medical respond team of the City Health was there right away to attend first aid for the wounded passengers. They were right away brought to the nearest hospital for the immediate treatment.

Almost daily our highways are littered with unwanted accidents. What measures can our authorities perhaps apply to re-evaluate our increasing number, of both private and public, vehicles in the City as meeting bloody accidents? We are happy that the scheme to decongest Zamboanga is now working gradually, by re-routing concentrated traffic jams to a freer highways and lanes.

Very soon the diversion road, connecting the East to West Coast, is about to be operational in a couple of years from now. There is also the Integrated Bus Terminal in Divisoria, the Ateneo elementary will already transfer in Putik on the opening of classes this June, and etc.

Yet it seems PUJs still feel a more adrenalin to speed-up in our spacious highways. If this will continue, we can helplessly see more blood of innocent passengers. Believably, it’s high time now to also respond to these pressing obvious problems. Baranggay eMedia is always there to help constructively critic our authorities to the simple flaws in our bureaucracy, for the good of everyone.

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Ps. 34:8, ESV)

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