Baguio extends free emission test to buses, vans

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The city government extended to buses and UV express vans free smoke emission test as a requirement for the issuance of their special permit to operate by the Cordillera office of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB-CAR) allowing their operations during this period of the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

Earlier, the city offered to public utility jeepneys (PUJs) and taxis free smoke emission tests to allow the operators and drivers to process their special permits with the LTFRB-CAR prior to ply their routes.

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong said that the free smoke emission test for buses and vans is part of the city’s initiative to ease the burden from operators and drivers of added expenses for them to resume operations despite the heavy impact of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on their primary source of income.

He advised bus and van operators to bring their vehicles to the old city auditorium site on Mondays to Fridays to avail of the free smoke emission test provided by the city government prior to the issuance of their special permit by the LTFRB-CAR.

Under LTFRB Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2020-017, public utility vehicles (PUVs) will only be allowed to operate on 50 percent capacity once they are issued a special permit by the agency upon the recommendation of the concerned local governments during the community quarantine period.

Prior to the issuance of the requires special permit, PUVs, including jeepneys, taxis, buses and vans, are mandated to undergo the road worthiness test of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) as a requirement for such vehicles to pass the smoke emission test.

The Mayor explained the city understands the predicament of PUV operators losing their income for over three months due to the suspension of the operation of mass public transportation during the ECQ, thus, the city’s gesture of offering free smoke emission test to allow them to operate and start recovering from the impact of the community quarantine.

However, he clarified the free smoke emission test will only be good during the implementation of the community quarantine to help the operators and drivers gradually transition to the new normal where physical distancing and mandatory wearing of face masks will have to be strictly observed.

The city government allowed the operation of more than 770 jeepneys and over 600 taxis for the transportation requirements of authorized persons outside residence, those going to work in essential services, and those going to their scheduled market days during the implementation of the MGCQ.

However, relevant offices of the city government are studying the possibility of slowly increasing the number of PUVs allowed to ply the different routes in the city while transitioning to the new normal depending on the decision of the national inter-agency task force for the management of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.

By Dexter A. See
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis