LTFRB issues 1,080 special bus permits

Romina Cabrera - The Philippine Star
LTFRB issues 1,080 special bus permits
Passengers queue to buy tickets at a bus station in Sampaloc Manila on December 19, 2023.
STAR / Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — At least 1,080 special permits have been issued to ensure that  there will be enough buses for commuters going to the provinces this holiday season.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), in Board Resolution No. 101-2023, said the duration of the special permits is from Dec. 15 to Jan. 14, 2024.

The permits will increase the number of passenger buses plying regular routes by 30 percent.

LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz said public utility vehicle (PUV) companies and operators should ensure the safety of passengers.

“As we approach the festive holiday season, I order all bus companies to implement stringent safety measures, including strict adherence to traffic regulations, proper maintenance of vehicles as well as provision of comfortable and well-maintained buses for passengers,” Guadiz said in a statement.

He said bus companies that fail to comply with LTFRB rules face fines and suspension of their franchise.

The agency said measures to ensure convenience for passengers, including online ticketing systems, assistance counters, priority lanes and accessibility ramps for passengers with disabilities, should be implemented at terminals.

Guadiz said transport companies should also provide a sufficient number of security personnel at terminals.

He issued a warning against overloading, overcharging and colorum vehicles.

The LTFRB said it has started its service contracting program, which aims to incentivize drivers and operators for their trips during holidays.

The program, which has a budget of P699 million this year, aims to help transport workers who are still reeling from the pandemic.

It provides for a performance-based payout, which includes P20 for every kilometer for jeepneys, Filcabs and UV express units.

The LTFRB said P24 per kilometer would be given to modern jeepneys and UV units.

Only PUVs that are part of a consolidated transport service entity are qualified under the program.

Meanwhile, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) said it has apprehended 18 taxi drivers who refused to convey passengers during a spot operation.

The LTO said this should serve as a warning to drivers and operators who refuse commuters during the holidays.

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