Senator Grace Poe has asked the Department of Transportation to suspend further implementation of an order imposing stiffer fines for violations of rules and laws governing land transportation.
Poe, who chairs the Senate public services committee, said a mere administrative order—Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 2014-01 by the then Department of Transportation and Communications, Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board and Land Transportation Office—cannot override a law passed by Congress.
She said the LTFRB should suspend the JAO's provision increasing penalties on public utility vehicles that are impounded.
“This is illegal because this is not a law. This is just a Joint Administrative Order of what used to be the DOTC. They should suspend the implementation of this immediately because this is inhumane and anti-poor,” Poe said.
At the hearing held at the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines, Poe’s panel was told that the JAO was arbitrarily implemented.
The order was also deemed anti-poor as it targets small-time drivers and operators.
Poe earlier filed Senate Resolution No. 910 directing the Senate to investigate the “unjustly harsh” fines and penalties for land transport violations.
The JAO, the re-electionist senator noted, usurps the power of Congress to increase penalties under existing laws.
“You can only increase penalties through a law. So that JAO is against the law. That is illegal,” Poe said.