MANILA -- The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will require all buses to have speed limiters by June, according to LTFRB executive director Atty. Roberto Cabrera.
Cabrera said they plan to require all buses to install the speed limiters when they register their lines.
"We would like to start soonest, 2nd quarter of this year, June or July," he said.
He said the technology will not only detect overspeeding but actually prevent the vehicle from going over the speed limit. "Hindi ka lalampas kahit anong mangyari."
Cabrera said they are considering suppliers of the speed limiters from Manchester, UK, Netherlands, India and China.
But he clarified that they are still studying if they will let it go through a bidding process or just give accreditation. "Better to accredit, at least wala ng purchase of government," he said.
The LTFRB is also planning not to limit the number of suppliers so that bus companies will have choices.
The LTFRB still has not determined the final speed limit for the buses but Cabrera said they are going to ask help from UP-National Center for Transportation Studies (UP-NCTS).
He said for now, they are looking at a speed of 60 to 70 kilometers per hour (kph) along EDSA, and less than 100 kph, possibly 80 kph, in highways going to the provinces.
BUS FIRMS GO AHEAD
Meanwhile, some bus companies like Bataan Liner, Victory Liner, Jac Liner, DLTB Bus and Five Star have already invested in global positioning system (GPS) and alarm systems for their buses.
Ria Cauton, vice president of Five Star Bus, said they have invested in a GPS system to track their buses since 2007 and this includes a buzzer which sounds off when the bus goes over 95 kph anytime, anywhere.
Five Star driver Nick Lachica said the buzzer starts sounding off as a warning at first until it becomes very loud that it will irritate the passengers.
"Mag-uumpisa siya toot toot lang tapos biglang lalakas, malakas kaya mapipilitan kang mag-menor," he said.
Cauton said the installation of speed limiters still have to be studied. "Meron din siya mga dangers kumbaga. Divided din kami kasi may mga pagkakataon na kailangan mag-accelerate, tulad ng tire blow out."
Cauton explained that tire blow outs are not only caused by old or ill-maintained vehicles. "Minsan may pako, may bato, may repair, kailangan apakan ng todo yung accelerate. Pag may speed limiter, hindi siya makakapag-accelerate enough para malabanan ang puwersa."
Cauton said the government should focus on the root of the problem, which is overcompetition of bus operators, compared to Singapore which only has two bus lines.
Meanwhile, Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines (PBOAP) president Alex Yage issued a statement on the LTFRB's plan to require speed limiters.
"The circular was decided without public consultation with the bus operators, bus manufacturers, drivers and the riding public. While there may be benefits, a thorough study and review of this is necessary, beneficial and practicable to all stakeholders. A class legislation without consultation would make it arbitrary and subject to suspicion to the public. We look forward to a public hearing on this matter," Yage said.