BAGUIO CITY – Bus operations to and from this city and the Mountain Province is expected to resume as the approval of Mayor Benjamin Magalong is expected to come out as early as today.
Januario Borillo, chief of the city’s Traffic, Transport Management division of the City Engineering Office said in an interview on Monday that all is set for the resumption of 11 routes of bus and van operations to and from Baguio.
“We have a meeting with the mayor and bus operators this afternoon. We hope to get the mayor’s approval and we can already start serving the public,” he said.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Dec. 14 has endorsed the opening of the inter-provincial/ regional routes to and from Baguio City.
Based on the LTFRB memorandum, 10 routes were approved to and from Baguio and one from the National Capital Region (NCR) to Bontoc, Mountain Province.
The 10 units point-to-point Baguio-NCR route will have the pick-up and drop-off point at the central terminal for all northbound buses in Metro Manila.
There are also eight units of Baguio-Bontoc, Mountain Province route with Slaughter Compound as drop-off and pick-up area.
The other routes are: Baguio-Clark, Pampanga; Baguio-San Fernando, Pampanga; Baguio-Mabalacat, Pampanga; Baguio-Mariveles, Bataan; and Baguio-Olongapo City.
Utility express vans will also service the Baguio-Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija; Baguio-San Carlos, Pangasinan; and Baguio-Lingayen, Pangasinan routes.
The LTFRB also approved the resumption of operation for 10 units of the Lizardo Transportation company to ferry passengers for the Bontoc-NCR via Banaue, Ifugao route.
Borillo said the city is limiting bus arrivals to eight per day from all routes to prevent congesting the central triage where all passengers will be brought prior to disembarking at the drop off terminal here.
He said there are specific schedules provided to the bus operators which they should conform to so as not to arrive at the central triage at the same time.
Victory Buses’ scheduled arrivals are 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. and 12 noon to 1 p.m. while Genesis buses’ schedules are 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., or two trips per day for each operator from Monday to Sunday.
“Each route is provided a schedule which are strictly to be followed,” he said.
Borillo added that strict observance of the health and safety protocols are mandatory.
“May one strike policy po tayo, mahuli sila na nagva-violate, hindi na sila papayagan magbyahe (we will apply the one strike where a single violation will bar them from operating),” the officer said.
He said tourist passengers will have to first register with https://visita.baguio.gov.ph/ to get a permit for each person while returning Baguio residents need to register with http://hdf.baguio.gov.ph/ for their individual permit.
Borillo said that walk-in passengers or chance passengers are not allowed as they are required to book for a seat at least 48 hours before the trip.
The passenger must present a 48-hour-old negative antigen test result in the absence of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test before boarding the bus.
Upon arrival in Baguio, they will be led to the central triage for another check-up for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Borillo said Mayor Benjamin Magalong is okay with the protocols and schedules but he wants to first meet the operators for their commitment to observe the rules, policies and most especially the health and safety protocols. (PNA)