MANILA (UPDATED) - The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) cancelled the franchise of the Don Mariano Transit Corporation, which was involved in the Skyway crash on December 16 that killed 21 people.
LTFRB Chairman Winston Ginez noted the many lapses and violations on the part of Don Marian Transit, which has 78 units.
Immediately after the December 16 incident, the LTFRB preventively suspended Don Mariano's fleet for 30 days.
"With all the evidences submitted, gathered and discussed, there is no doubt that Don Mariano Transit Bus Corporation has repeatedly failed to comply with the terms and conditions of the [Certificates of Public Convenience] granted to it," he said.
The bus firm claimed the unit involved in the fatal crash was roadworthy, but Ginez begged to disagree.
Citing reports from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), he said six (6) tires (two in front, four at the rear) of the bus were already worn out and thus not safe in driving under bad climate condition.
Ginez also cited the report of the PNP-Crime Laboratory Group that the chassis number (JALFVR34797000092) indicated on the registration records of said bus involved in the Skyway accident was not registered with the LTO.
"The fact that Don Mariano Bus Corp allowed the illegal use or change of chassis without informing the LTFRB or undergoing its procedural requirement at the LTO is a clear misrepresentation, to say the least, which this Board can never tolerate," Ginez said.
"Not only was the particular bus unit involved in the accident not roadworthy to be on the streets, but the bus company was remiss and blatantly negligent in the maintenance and repair of its bus units and in the performance of its business affairs and activities," he added.
In fact, only six units of Don Mariano’s fleet passed a roadworthiness inspection, he said.
"As part of our regulatory powers, we will not hesitate to suspend the franchise of bus operators who fail to meet our strict requirements in terms of road worthiness of their whole fleet," Ginez warned.