MMDA, LTFRB join forces vs illegal bus terminals

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 22 2017 11:26 AM

Passengers wait for a ride at a bus terminal in Quezon City, December 21, 2016. ABS-CBN News

The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Quezon City government have signed a memorandum of agreement to eliminate illegal bus terminals in the city.

Inked Tuesday, the memorandum tasks the 3 agencies to inspect over 100 bus terminals in Quezon City and order the closure of transport operators that violate local and national laws.

"LTFRB will check kung nakakasunod sa standards. LGU will check kung may business permit. Ang MMDA, titingnan niya iyung 'nose in, nose out' [policy] at iba pang requirement," LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada said in a phone interview with radio DZMM.

(LTFRB will check if the terminals comply with standards. The LFU will check if they have business permits. The MMDA will verify if they follow the 'nose in, nose out' policy and other requirements.)

The MOA, Lizada said, will also protect legitimate operators that incur higher operational costs compared to illegal bus terminals that do not pay for permits and facility upgrades.

MMDA General Manager Thomas Orbos, meanwhile, said improved coordination between the agencies ensures that erring operators will face possible business closure.

"Ang naging problema po lagi dati ng MMDA, wala naman po talaga kaming kapangyarihang magsara kahit po may mga violation sila. Ang pwede lang po namin gawin ay i-penalize," Orbos explained in a separate DZMM interview.

(The MMDA previously had no power to close terminals even if they had violations. All we can do before was penalize them.)

"Malaking bagay po ito (MOA) dahil first time po itong nangyari na may pakikipag-ugnayan ang 3 ahensya ng gobyerno," he added.
 
(This is a big improvement because this is the first time that the 3 government agencies agreed to coordinate)

Lizada said a technical working group is set to iron out operational guidelines for the MOA.