Bus companies told to 'come clean'

by Ria de Fiesta, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Feb 11 2014 02:11 AM | Updated as of Feb 11 2014 11:53 PM

MANILA – Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairman Winston Ginez on Monday said bus companies that have "irregularities" in their operations should come clean with the LTFRB.

Ginez said even before the deadly accident in Bontoc involving GV Florida Transport, he had already scheduled a transportation summit with presidents, officers, and owners of bus companies.

“This is by invitation only, which means I will meet the ‘decision-makers’ of these bus companies. During the summit, I will ask them, and warn them, that if they have still this kind of existing arrangement, and they have not registered their transactions with the LTFRB, I will tell them point blank to stop it and come clean… and we will help them with the processing,” Ginez told ANC Prime Time.

If they don’t do this, Ginez said erring bus companies will be jeopardizing a lot of lives.

“Meje-jeopardize ang hanapbuhay ng mga kliyente, hanapbuhay ng kanilang nga tao, konduktor at ang riding public ay malalagay na naman sa alanagnin dahil in the end, sila ang maapektuhan kung may irregularites na nangyayari,” he said.

He said that the LTFRB on its own will review its records, call the attention of bus companies, initiate investigations, and impose sanctions on guilty bus companies.

Meanwhile, he said the LTFRB is validating preliminary findings that the GV Florida Transport bus operated the franchise of Mt. Province Cable Tours without seeking the approval of the LTFRB.

“We already have a certification from our technical division, which accepts and evaluates all applications, that there was no such application,” he said. “These are just preliminary right now and we will give the Florida bus the opportunity to be heard.”

Another finding based on the examination of the franchise records, Ginez said, is that the plate number of the bus involved in the accident -- TXT 872 – actually belongs to one of the units of Mt. Province Cable Tours which has already been phased out.

“Ang nangyari dito, walang paalam sa LTFRB, kinuha ng Florida Bus ang lumang plaka ng Cable Tours at ikinabit sa unit na in-operate nila na nahulog sa bangin,” Ginez said.

The bus in question, Ginez clarified, did not go through LTFRB’s road worthiness inspection, which is a requirement before it can be registered.

“Pangalawa, ayon din po sa Highway Patrol Group, ang paglilipat ng plaka without the approval of the LTO or the LTFRB insofar as public utility vehicles are considered, is a violation of [the] anti-carnapping [law], kaya importante talaga ang pag-insure ng integrity ng mga plate numbers which are supposed to serve as the birth certificate ng mga bus natin na hindi pinapakialaman. Otherwise naka-kumpromiso dito ang ating kapakanan,” he added.