Bus firms mull raps vs MMDA, LTFRB

By Zen Hernandez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 11 2011 03:29 PM | Updated as of Nov 12 2011 07:12 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Bus operators are planning to file a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for impounding buses whose franchises were either suspended or cancelled.

According to Atty. Grace Adducul, legal counsel of the Metro Bus Transport Club, only 2 of the 17 bus companies included in the list have received a copy of the order.

Aducul insisted bus companies should have been given a chance to appeal within the 15-day period provided by law. She said such an order is only effective and executory 15 days upon receipt of the respondent.

She noted that 4,000 to 6,000 employees could lose their jobs by impounding the said buses.

The LTFRB on Wednesday announced the cancellation of the franchises of Philippine Corinthian Liner and Jell Transport for allegedly spearheading a transport strike November last year.

Fifteen bus companies, on the other hand, were given 6-month suspension.

The MMDA proceeded with impounding bus units from the affected companies.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino explained traffic enforcers will only stop impounding buses once an appeal has been filed by the bus company before the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

The MMDA on Thursday impounded a total of 90 bus units, forcing some suspended bus companies to halt their operations Friday.

Despite the decrease in the number of buses along EDSA, Tolentino guaranteed there are more than enough buses to ferry commuters.

The LTFRB also said it continues to hear the cases of other bus companies for possible franchise cancellation or suspension.