A new hotline has been launched that allows people to report smoke belching and dilapidated jeepneys and buses.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT) set up the online platform to crack down on unroadworthy public utility vehicles (PUVs).
The ‘Sumbong Bulok Sumbong Usok’ (SBSU) Hotline is a digital chatbot hotline that can be accessed via I-ACT’s Facebook Messenger.
As well as reporting dirty and dilapidated vehicles, the public can also tip-off the authorities about illegal parking and unlicensed vendors by posting a photo or a video.
Transport secretary Arthur Tugade said: “This Sumbong Bulok, Sumbong Usok Chatbot hotline is basically citizen empowerment.
“The success of this platform in helping realise the objectives of our ‘Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok’ operations will serve as a solid proof that if the government, its people, and technology are put into one, nothing is impossible.”
A case management system will be integrated on the server of the SBSU platform that will enable I-ACT to swiftly respond on the concerns.
“This platform will not only help citizens send their complaints easily. This will also help our case managers and resolvers monitor the status of concerns. This will help us identify where the problems are greatest, and which agencies are not responding to complaints,” Mr Tugade added.
DOTr Undersecretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Tim Orbos said the SBSU hotline would help expand the enforcement capabilities of I-ACT, especially as many traffic violators and dangerous drivers often operate at night.
I-ACT member agencies such as the DOTr, the police’s Highway Patrol Group, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Land Transportation Office, and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority will be involved in dealing with complaints sent to the SBSU Chatbot Hotline.
The hotline is a project of DOTr, in partnership with Trufidelity Innovations, a private company who has offered to DOTr I-ACT free use of their digital media platform.
The I-ACT is currently implementing the “Tanggal Usok, Tanggal Bulok” campaign in parts of Metro Manila, as well as nearby provinces such as Pampanga, Bulacan, and Rizal.
A total of 1,904 PUVs were apprehended for various violations including defective parts, illegally franchised or “colorum” vehicles and smoke belching since the campaign’s launch last month.