Transport execs guarantee safe Holy Week travel

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 29 2017 02:55 PM

MANILA - Transportation officials assured security for travelers during the Lenten season, citing various plans that include terminal inspections and issuance of special permits. 

Upon questioning by Committee Chair Cesar Sarmiento, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chair Martin Delgra said the agency has OPLAN Kuwaresma, which entails inspection of bus terminals around the country. 

Delgra said they are also processing special permits to accommodate higher passenger demand.

"As early as two to three weeks ago, we've been processing special permits. There are already something more than 1600 units issued special permits because we know during this seasons there are a number of places where people would go through either for prayer or holidays," he said.

Delgra however clarified that this doesn't mean that the public utility vehicles are insufficient to cover the demand, emphasizing that it only happens during "certain times of the year."

Delgra also said LTFRB also has jurisdiction over the standards of bus terminals even if local governments issue the necessary permits.

Land Transportation Office Chief Edgar Galvante said operators and drivers of public utility vehicles have been subjected to safety seminars.

The Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group through Senior Superintendent Antonio Gardiola Jr said they also have an OPLAN SUMVAC which will monitor security during the summer vacation until the start of classes.

"We deploy security at the terminals and highways with the inter-agency group and the DPWH," he said.

Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) chief Marcial Amaro III said they also have an OPLAN Ligtas Biyahe.

"We are collaborating with the PPA (Philippine Ports Authority) and PCG (Philippine Coast Guard). We institutionalized the Oplan Ligtas Biyahe. This particular plan is operational. This includes but not limited to monitoring the safety, comfort…We've been monitoring the seaworthiness of the vessel. This is a 24/7 operation"

Holy Week Starts on Palm Sunday, April 9.