Citizens can snap a photos of a colorum or smoke-belching vehicle and report it to DOTr's chatbot hotline on Facebook Messenger
Commuters who see smoke belchers and colorum or unauthorized jeepneys and other public utility vehicles (PUVs) on the road now have an easier way to report them to the Department of Transporation (DOTr).
Instead of calling a telephone hotline and reporting the vehicle’s plate number along with a description of the brand and model, concerned citizens can just simply snap a picture with their phones and send the images to the DOTr’s chatbot hotline on Facebook Messenger.
Called the "Sumbong Bulok, Sumbong Usok” (SBSU), the hotline is also a platform where a chatbot answers the users’ complaints. Aside from text, it also enables people to send photos or videos of the incidents they wish to report, and the bot will automatically identify the location where it happened by using GPS.
Users can also easily check the status of their complaints by simply clicking the “check concern status” button provided by the bot. They can also request for announcements from the DOTr through the chat hotline.
“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,” said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
A screenshot of DOTr's chatbot app on Facebook Messenger
The complaints received by the chatbot will then be forwarded to DOTr and members of the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT), namely, the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Land Transportation Office (LTO), and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. The respective agency will then process and resolve the received reports.
“Makikita doon ng DOTr kung anong mga lugar ang pinakamaraming reklamo, at sinong mga ahensya ang hindi sumasagot sa reklamo (Through the hotline, the DOTr will be able to see which locations have the most number of complaints, and which are the agencies that do not respond to complaints),” Tugade added.
Users can also send complaints against vehicles that are no longer roadworthy, smoke belching and/or illegally parked, among others. Even illegal vendors and colorum vehicles, or private vehicles used for public transportation without the necessary franchise, can also be reported.
The chatbot hotline is a project of DOTr in partnership with Trufidelity Innovations, a private technology solutions firm, who is also the provider of the digital media platform.
Pauline Macaraeg is Entrepreneur PH's data journalist. Follow her on Twitter @paulinemacaraeg