The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board reminded bus companies and other operators of public utility vehicles to ensure the safety of passengers through strict security, adherence to traffic laws and proper maintenance of their PUVs.
In a press release, LTFRB Chair Teofilo Guadiz III called on PUV operators, especially bus companies, to “go the extra mile” to provide a seamless and pleasant journey to their customers.
“I urge bus companies to prioritize passenger welfare, uphold safety standards, and contribute to the spirit of goodwill during this joyous time,” he said.
Guadiz reminded that violating LTFRB regulations and other relevant laws may result in heavy fines and penalties such as suspension of their franchise.
“Failure to comply with these regulations poses a significant risk to the well-being of passengers and will not be tolerated. Bus operators are hereby warned that any lapses in ensuring the safety and security of the riding public may result in severe sanctions,” he added.
Guadiz also encouraged operators with terminal facilities to set up online ticketing and dispatching, assistance counters, priority lanes, accessibility ramps for persons with disabilities, concrete flooring on the entire terminal and other measures required by the government.
He also warned operators against “overloading, overcharging and using colorum vehicles.”
Overloaded PUVs, he added, are dangerous to passengers, drivers and conductors.
Guadiz called on the public to avoid colorum or unregistered PUVs as these lack proper insurance and did not undergo safety standards checks as part of PUV registration.
“Passengers might face difficulties in claiming compensation or medical assistance in the absence of authorized and regulated services. It’s crucial to prioritize safety by choosing legally authorized transportation options,” he said.
On the other hand, Guadiz said operators and drivers of colorum PUVs face sanctions such as impounding of involved vehicles, blacklisting and revocation of their certificate of public convenience, as well as their vehicle registration.
He asked commuters and the public to reach out to the LTFRB through its hotline 1342 to file complaints related to these illegal activities.
To ensure a sufficient number of PUVs during the holiday season, the LTFRB chief said 1,080 special permits have been issued to bus operators, allowing them to increase the number of their PUVs operating during the period. These special permits are valid beginning Dec. 15 until Jan. 14, 2024. – PNA