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Bishop wades into women bus driver row

Manila move designed to reduce traffic accidents

MMDA chief Francis Tolentino (left) meets with bus operators MMDA chief Francis Tolentino (left) meets with bus operators
  • ucanews.com reporter, Manila
  • Philippines
  • January 18, 2011
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A Filipino bishop yesterday joined a controversial debate over whether a plan by Manila authorities to hire female bus drivers will reduce road accidents.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority wants to hire women to drive buses because they are safer drivers, according to its chairman, Francis Tolentino.

However, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said he is not convinced women will lower bus-related accidents. Rather, strict implementation of traffic laws is the answer, he said.

“Police should be strict in implementing the law. If they see somebody breaking it then they should arrest that person,” he said.

“Filipinos will follow the law if they know the ones implementing it are serious and strict about it.”

Bishop Pabillo, however, admitted that female drivers are generally not that aggressive on roads, unlike men.

“Women are not that aggressive on the road but I’m not sure if that’s the solution because women have strong and weak points as well,” said Pabillo.

He also wondered whether women would be able to drive a big bus, a point also raised by bus drivers, who are all male.

“Can they manage that kind of job? Our buses are not that easy to drive,” Bishop Pabillo said.

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