City bus operators ask banks to defer loan payments amid transport shutdown


Posted at Mar 17 2020 09:26 PM | Updated as of Mar 17 2020 09:53 PM

MANILA - Bus operators in Metro Manila asked banks on Tuesday to defer loan payments as the enhanced quarantine imposed over the whole of Luzon because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) shut down public transport. 

The Samahan ng mga Transport Operator ng Pilipinas said that many of its members borrowed from banks to buy modern buses in compliance with the transport department’s public transport modernization program. 

Each bus costs at least P7 million, said Juliet de Jesus, managing director of the city bus operators group. 

De Jesus said that their members will find it difficult to pay their loans to banks this March and April because their units are not allowed to operate. 

“Ang hihilingin lang naman po namin dito ay moratorium, halimbawa kung March at April, huwag na muna nila ikarga sa amin. Mag-start kami ng May,” de Jesus said in an interview with DZMM radio. 

(What we’re asking for here is a moratorium, for example they should not ask for payment in March and April. We can start paying again in May.)

The enhanced community quarantine over Luzon will last until April 12, during which no public transport is allowed to operate in a bid to restrict the movement of people and, in turn, stop the contagion.