LTFRB to operators: Get special permit
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon, Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - June 5, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has cautioned operators and drivers from operating their vehicles without special permits (SP).

This is part of the guidelines the LTFRB and the COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) had set for areas under general community quarantine.

To be given an SP, one should have a valid franchise, passenger insurance policy, passed the road worthy inspection from the Land Transportation Office and are one of those included authorized units owned by a juridical entity such as a cooperative or corporation.

“Deliberate failure to comply with any of the provisions herewith shall be construed as a violation to the terms and conditions of their CPC and shall be dealt with accordingly,” read part of the LTFB’s memorandum circular no.2020-017.

For those who have not yet applied for a special permit, one can send their applications through email r7@ltfrb.gov.ph.

So far, the LTFRB has now issued 90 special permits to PUVS serving the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, Talisay and Consolacion and 150 SP’s for taxis and Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS), such as Grab and Micab, said LTFRB Regional Director Eduardo Montealto Jr. in a live feed through the Facebook page of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV).

Those under Cebu City route have the most number of special permits with 61, while the rest are serving the routes from the cities of Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu and Talisay, and Consolacion.

Montealto added that under the GCQ guidelines, the movement of people is limited.

Based on Section 4 of the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine, “the movement of all persons in areas placed under GCQ shall be limited to accessing essential goods and service.”

Movements for leisure purposes are not allowed and those aged 21 below and 60 above are still required to stay at home.

Since the students account for about 40 percent of the “ridership,” Montealto said fewer PUVs would be required.

The increase in the number of vehicles allowed to ply the routes would be in phases, depending on the passenger demand, which the LTFRB-7 would be monitoring, he said.

If there is a need for additional PUVs, the hierarchy of transport service, based on Memorandum Circular 2020-017, will be followed with the public utility buses on top followed by the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines- (OFG) compliant PUJs or modernized jeepneys then the UV Express service, traditional PUJs, which already consolidated as cooperatives or are fleet-managed and tourist vans.

The LTFRB continues to validate applications for SPs and is coordinating with the LGUs to determine if there is a need to add more PUVs to serve a certain route.

Montealto has also called on commuters in areas not covered by the routes to be patient, since there would still be a limited number of PUVs that will be allowed to operate.

As for the taxis and TNVS given permits, operators might still be conducting training for their drivers since the taxis and TNVS would be using the cashless payment system.

All those given special permits also need to follow health protocols such as the wearing face masks of their drivers and conductors and regular disinfection of their units, among others, Montealto said.

Earlier, Montealto said the buses would be plying the wider roads, while the mini-buses and modernized jeepneys would be serving the narrow roads.

He also said that buses need to comply with the health protocols such as social distancing, regular disinfection of units and the passenger manifests required for contact tracing.  GAN (FREEMAN)

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