Study on route amendment of provincial buses sought

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BAGUIO CITY – The local legislative body approved a resolution urging further in-depth study of the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory (LTFRB) Memorandum circular No. 2019-31 on the subject route amendment of certificates of public convenience of all provincial buses originating from the north and south with terminals along the Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) in Metro Manila while also provisionally amending the route of all city buses.

The resolution authored by all members of the local legislative body stated that a thorough study must be undertaken by the concerned agencies, taking into consideration the reported negative effects it may bring to the people considering that the proposed removal of the provincial buses along EDSA is not economically viable, especially the minimum wage earners who patronize public transport.

Earlier, President Rodrigo R. Duterte reportedly issued a directive closing the operation of all bus terminals along EDSA consistent with Executive Order (EO) No. 67, series of 2012.

On June 19, 2017, the Department of Transportation issued Department Order No. 011 which stated that all provincial routes are to terminate at their designated integrated terminal exchanges in both the northern and southern portion of Metro Manila.

In the implementation with the said issuances, the Metro Manila Council, through the development authority, issued Regulation No. 19-002, series of 2019 that prohibited or revoked the issuance of business permits to all public utility bus terminals and operators and other public utility vehicle terminals and operators along the main highway of Metro Manila.

Similarly, the LTFRB issued Memorandum Circular No. 2019-31 that amended the certificate of public convenience of all provincial buses coming from the north and south with terminals along EDSA while provisionally amending also the routes of all city buses.

According to the reports reaching the local legislative body, there are more than 47 provincial bus terminals along EDSA aside from the numerous terminals of public utility vehicles plying different routes inside and outside Metro Manila.

One of the salient provisions of the circular is that provincial buses are barred from entering EDSA and identified the loading and unloading points for the displaced provincial buses coming from the northern and southern Luzon which specified that all the routes of provincial buses coming from the north with terminals along EDSA are temporarily amended to end at Valenzuela City interim terminal and those coming from south Luzon Visayas and Mindanao with terminals along EDSA and Cubao, Quezon City will end at Sta. Rosa interim terminal, while those coming from other parts of the country with terminals in Pasay City will end at Paranaque integrated terminal exchange.

The resolution pointed out that the said scheme, once implemented, would entail a lot of inconvenience, longer travel time, hence, additional time, and economic cost for the commuters, thus, it is extremely burdensome, especially for the disadvantaged groups such as the elderly, persons with disabilities, pregnant women and those who are physically challenged.

The scheme was also labelled as anti-poor as most of the passengers are those who could only afford public transport to ferry them to and from Metro Manila.

By Dexter A. See

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