BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Department of Transportation (DOTR-CAR) said there had been a significant improvement in the cleanliness of parking areas of public utility vehicles (PUVs) in the city from the sight of betel nut spits since the strict implementation of a memorandum prohibiting the chewing of betel nut by PUV drivers while on duty.
DOTR-CAR officer-in-charge Robert Allan Santiago said people can observe a good sight in the parking areas within the Dangwa terminal and at the back of Tiong San Harrison these days because PUV drivers now comply with the policy of no-chewing of betel nut while on duty, an indication of their compliance to existing rules and regulations while the crafting of the appropriate local ordinance by the local legislative body is underway.
He pointed out that there is still a need to continue the information and education campaign (IEC) on the existence of the memorandum issued by the agency prohibiting PUV drivers from chewing betel nut while on duty to ensure cleanliness of their parking areas in the different parts of the central business district area.
“We only prohibit the chewing of betel nut by our public utility vehicle drivers while they are on duty but they are still allowed to do the same when they are not on duty so that cleanliness can be observed in the different parking areas around the central business district,” Santiago stressed.
Earlier, a number of local governments in the region passed ordinances prohibiting the chewing of belt nut in public places in their localities to prevent unsightly areas within their areas of jurisdiction primarily because of betel nut spits everywhere.
According to him, the agency needs to sustain the monitoring of the compliance of all PUV drivers in the city to the issued memorandum against the chewing of betel nut so to significantly improve the overall cleanliness of the different parking and staging areas of PUVs around the city proper.
Santiago called on PUV drivers to cooperate on the strict implementation of the agency’s memorandum against the chewing of betel nut so that the image of Baguio city as a premier tourist destination in the country will be sustained or even improved which will help in enticing more people to visit the city which redounds to more business for the PUVs.
While it is true that betel nut is part of the culture of most Cordillerans, especially those from those from Ifugao, he asserted that people should still observe decency in dealing with other people who may misinterpret the frequent chewing of betel nut by PUV drivers who are only barred from doing so when they are on duty.
The memorandum directing PUV drivers in the city to refrain from chewing betel nut was distributed to the different PUV organizations for their information and guidance prior to the start of the implementation of the same as part of the IEC for its strict compliance by the concerned sector.
By Dexter A. See