LTFRB-10 keen to reopen inter-regional bus routes in Mindanao

LTFRB-10 keen to reopen inter-regional bus routes in Mindanao

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-10 (LTFRB-10) is pushing for the local governments in other regions in Mindanao to open their borders to allow the passage of buses plying inter-regional routes.

“The reopening of the bus routes in Mindanao would be beneficial to businesses and people,” said Aminoden Guro, LTFRB-10 regional director, in an interview Wednesday.

Guro pointed out that Secretary Arthur Tugade of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has already instructed the LTFRB regional offices to coordinate with the local chief executives to allow buses to ply their usual routes, especially in the Zamboanga Peninsula, Cotabato, and General Santos City areas.

The national government has placed most areas in Mindanao under the modified general community quarantine as the country is still battling the coronavirus pandemic.

Guro said that although it is the discretion of local leaders to close their borders to inter-regional buses, the national inter-agency task force may intervene if it deems that the areas that are very strict in allowing buses’ entry are economically suffering.

“There should be a balance. We have to reopen these routes, but we must not also sacrifice the health of our people. Of course, minimal health standards must still be observed,” he said.

These health standards include the compulsory wearing of face mask and face shield, safe physical distancing, and disinfection.

Meanwhile, the Yanson Group of Bus Companies (YGBC), whose fleet of buses have been plying the routes all over the country, said it welcomes the move of the LTFRB and DOTr to revitalize the inter-regional bus operations.

“That’s what we are hoping for. We have been waiting for the LTFRB to reopen our usual routes. This has been the clamor of our passengers,” said Celer Estologa, YGBC media relations officer for Mindanao.

The reopening of the routes would also mean that YGBC’s hundreds of employees, specifically its drivers and conductors, could now go back to work, he said.

Estologa assured that YGBC has been compliant with the health protocols set by the IATF since the national government declared a state of public health emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic early last year.

“Once our buses are allowed back on the road, we will implement even stricter health measures for the safety of the riding public,” he said. (PNA)

Leave a Reply