MANILA - The ill-fated tourist bus ferrying mostly college students on a camping trip was already 29 years old when it crashed and left 15 people dead in Tanay, Rizal last February, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board revealed Tuesday.
LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra said in a Senate inquiry that Hino Motors, the Japanese manufacturer of the Panda Coach bus, said the vehicle was made in 1988.
"Hino Japan confirmed that the engine number of that bus is of a different number from the chassis number of that bus. The manufacturing date was actually 1988. At the time of the accident, the bus was a 29-year old bus," he said.
Delgra said the bus, an imported surplus, also has an erroneous certificate of registration.
"It turned out that the date of manufacture stated in the certificate of registration was 2004, when in fact the date of manufacture was 1988," he explained.
LTFRB has a policy for the phaseout of public utility vehicles that are 15 years old and above, Delgra noted.
Survivors of the Feb. 20 accident said the Panda Coach bus reeked of burnt rubber and its brakes reportedly malfunctioned before the vehicle rammed a lamp post.