How much did Don Mariano pay Skyway victims?

By Zen Hernandez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 07 2014 04:25 PM | Updated as of Jan 08 2014 12:25 AM

MANILA - How much did Don Mariano Bus Transit give in financial assistance to passengers of a Don Mariano bus that fell off the Skyway last December 16?

Don Mariano representatives said the company has released P6 million in assistance to victims of the tragedy.

Families of those who perished from the accident were given P65,000 in burial assistance. Those who survived and were released from the hospital received P40,000 while those still in the hospital are being provided assistance in their hospital bills.

The bus company is asking the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to allow their company to resume operations following the tragedy.

Families of the victims opposed the appeal, saying they are not receiving enough assistance from the company.

Passenger Dionisio Tasara is one of those still in the hospital.

He injured his spine and is currently unable to move his waist and legs. He underwent three major operations and will have to undergo another one soon.

Doctors said it might take a year or more for Tasara to recover. They are also not sure if he will be able to walk again.

His wife, Rosalita, said they need more than just payment for hospital bills since they have no source of income.

She said Dionisio might not be able to work again for a long time, if ever.

The LTFRB meanwhile is set to decide on the permanent cancellation of the Don Mariano franchise in two weeks.

A witness earlier said the Don Mariano bus was clearly speeding before it fell off the Skyway.

Skyway management said the bus was speeding on a slippery portion of the road due to an earlier downpour.

Officials said the tires of the bus were later on found to be already worn out.

LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez earlier said the 3-member LTFRB board decided to suspend the entire fleet of Don Mariano for 30 days due to the gravity of the accident.

He said the accident is not the first one for a unit of the bus company. Last July 4, 2012, a Don Mariano bus rammed the railings of EDSA-Ortigas flyover, leaving at least 5 wounded.

Units of Don Mariano Transit Corp. were also involved in at least two accidents in 2013.