LTFRB-10 urges Mindanao LGUs to allow inter-regional buses to resume operations

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Buses plying inter-regional routes should be allowed to resume their operations to revitalize the economy in Mindanao, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-10 (LTFRB-10) said Wednesday 13.

Aminoden Guro, LTFRB-10 regional director, said there is now a need for local governments to reopen their borders to buses that bring in goods and products so that businesses will once again thrive after months of being dormant due to the implementation of quarantine measures since March 2020.

Guro said Transportation Sec. Arthur Tugade has instructed the LTFRB regional offices in Mindanao to coordinate with local chief executives in their jurisdiction to allow buses to play their usual routes, especially in the Zamboanga Peninsula, Cotabato, and General Santos City.

At present, he said, buses from Northern Mindanao are still barred from entering these areas on order of their respective local government officials.

The national government has placed of Mindanao under the modified general community quarantine as the country is still awaiting the availability of the coronavirus vaccine.

Guro said that although it is the discretion of local leaders to close their boundaries to inter-regional buses, the national inter-agency task force may intervene if it deems that the areas that are very strict in allowing the resumption of bus operations 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, physical distancing, disinfection, among others.

For its part, 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 get back to work, he said.

YGBC operates in Mindanao through its subsidiaries Rural Transit Mindanao Inc., Bachelor Express Inc., and Mindanao Star Bus Transport Inc.

Estologa has assured that YGBC has been compliant with the health protocols set by the IATF since the national government has 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 an even stricter health measures for the safety of the riding public,” he added.-Newsline.ph

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