A congressman wants public transport service operators to secure for their vehicles a comprehensive insurance coverage not only to protect themselves but also the victims of vehicular accidents.
"The sense of responsibility and accountability exercised by private motor-vehicle owners should be similarly demanded from public land-transport operators, specifically of buses and taxicabs because they are in the business of providing service to the vast majority who depend on public transport as the cheaper means of transportation," said Rep. Anthony del Rosario (1st District, Davao del Norte).
Del Rosario is the author of House Bill 6174, which makes it mandatory for public-utility vehicles to have a comprehensive insurance that should cover damages to the vehicle, theft, bodily injury, property damage, and a policy on passenger personal accident.
In filing the bill, Del Rosario cited Section 374 of the Insurance Code, which compels operators of public-utility vehicles to secure a third-party liability insurance or surety bond to assure the vehicular accident victims of immediate financial assistance or indemnity "regardless of the financial capability of the operators responsible for the accident sustained."
The solon also noted that Insurance Memorandum Circular No. 4-2006 limits the third party or passenger liability for all compulsory motor vehicle liability insurance to a P100,000 coverage.
Under del Rosario's bill, which is known as the "Public Utility Vehicles' Comprehensive Insurance Act," the voluntary third-party liability coverage should be up to a particular amount that is applied after the limited liability amount of P100,000--as provided under the compulsory third-party liability insurance--is exhausted.
This would reportedly include the reimbursement of medical costs for victims of the vehicular accident and the liability for property damage caused by the insured vehicle against a third-party vehicle or property. The bill also provides coverage against death or bodily injury sustained by passengers due to accidents while riding the insured vehicle.
If passed into law, a P50,000 penalty and the suspension of the franchise to operate a public transport vehicle service will be handed to those who don't secure a compulsory comprehensive insurance coverage for their motor vehicles.