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LTFRB limits bus drivers’ hours

Passengers wait to ride provincial buses in Cubao, Quezon City yesterday to spend the Holy Week break in their home province. BOY SANTOS

MANILA, Philippines - The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has limited the daily driving hours of public utility bus drivers to six hours to avoid accidents.

Under Memorandum Circular 2017-012, issued Friday and set to take effect today, the LTFRB directed bus operators to assign an alternate driver who shall take over after six hours.

“The conductor cannot be an alternate driver in order for him to provide continuous assistance to the passengers,” it said.

“We only require a maximum of six hours where a bus driver can travel. Beyond six hours, there should be an alternate driver on board,” said LTFRB spokesperson and board member Aileen Lizada in a radio interview.

Violators would be fined P5,000 for the first offense; fined P10,000 and suspended for 30 days for the second offense and 60 days’ suspension for the third offense.

Lizada said they issued the guidelines to avert future accidents caused by driver fatigue.

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The LTFRB’s regional offices will be conducting random checks on buses, especially those with long trips.

The LTFRB approved special permits to 1,153 buses to augment about 8,000 franchised buses which will travel in and out of Metro Manila during the Holy Week, about 842 buses higher than the previous year.

“We are expecting about 232,000 passengers from April 9 to 17,” she said.

The buses with special permits are allowed to travel outside their lines of operation during the period to accommodate the influx of people who will go on vacation during the Holy Week.

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