If Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo (Liberal Party, Second District of
Quezon City) would have his way, all manufacturers should adopt a
standard measure for the seating space of locally-manufactured
jeepneys to assure passenger safety and comfort and avoid overloading.
House Bill 5850, or the “Seat Space Requirement of Jeepneys Act of
2012,” which Castelo has filed over the weekend, requires
manufacturers to provide a seating space capacity, which is based on
what Castelo described as “the anthropometric dimension of jeepney
passengers” equivalent to 357 millimeter hip breadth or 14 inches. The
term anthropometric refers to measurement of size, weight, and
proportion of human body.
Castelo’s bill requires the Department of Transportation and
Communications (DoTC) to issue appropriate guidelines, rules and
regulations for its effective implementation through the Land
Transportation Office (LTO).
While 55 percent of the population in Metro Manila uses jeepney as the
primary mode of transport and about 350,000 jeepney units ply major
and minor routes in the metropolis, Castelo said the country does not
have national standards for assembly of “customized local road
vehicles” (CLRV), resulting in passenger overloading and discomfort.
As a consequence, most jeepney manufacturers have varied
specifications with regard to capacity dimensions, even as most
passengers have perceived the designed seating space is insufficient
for the passengers, Castelo said.
The proposed anthropometric dimension of 357 millimeter hip breadth or
14 inches for every passenger has been based on scientific studies and
its adoption would assure passenger safety and comfort.
The enactment of his bill, according to Castelo, could be the initial
step towards the crafting of subsequent laws to improve mass transport
system in terms of the safety of locally-constructed jeepneys. #