LTFRB: Provincial buses need not limit operations due to 'window hour' policy

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 20 2022 07:52 PM | Updated as of Apr 20 2022 10:31 PM

 Bus drivers and conductors call out passengers at the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) in Parañaque City on March 3, 2022. Public utility vehicles are now allowed to accommodate up to their full capacity under alert level 1. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
Bus drivers and conductors call out passengers at the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) in Parañaque City on March 3, 2022. Public utility vehicles are now allowed to accommodate up to their full capacity under alert level 1. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Wednesday clarified that provincial buses need not limit their operations to evenings due to the newly imposed “window hour scheme.”

“Nais naming bigyang-diin na ang pagsunod sa window scheme ng MMDA ay hindi nangangahulugan na ang mga provincial bus operations ay magsisimula lamang at magwawakas ang serbisyo ng pampublikong transportasyon mula 10:00 PM hanggang 5:00 AM,” the LTFRB said in a statement.

(We would like to emphasize that following MMDA’s window scheme does not mean that provincial bus operations will only start and end operations from 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM.)

The LTFRB issued the statement after it received reports of bus operators limiting their operations to evenings in accordance with the new policy imposed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA). 

The board said that while it respects the MMDA’s decision, it clarified that it was not part of the agreement to implement the “window hour scheme” as it was still being discussed.

It also noted that under their “permits to operate,” provincial buses must operate at all times when needed, and not only in the evening as they previously announced.

“Tulad ng ipinaliwanag ng MMDA sa pagpupulong ng mga opisyal mula sa dalawang ahensya, ang kanilang naging kasunduan sa mga provincial bus operator, ay maaaring gamitin ang kanilang pribadong terminal mula 10:00 PM hanggang 5:00 AM,” the LTFRB said.

(Per the MMDA’s explanation during a meeting with our two agencies, their agreement with provincial bus operators allow provincial buses to use their private terminals from 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM.)

Outside the window hours, provincial buses are required to go to the following terminals:

• PITX – Quezon, Region 4-A, MIMAROPA, and Bicol
• PITX and Araneta Center Cubao - Region 4-A (Calabarzon)
• NLET – Region 1, 2, and CAR
• NLET and Araneta Center Cubao – Region 3
• SRIT – Provincial buses from Visayas and Mindanao

The LTFRB also lamented the situation in Pampanga, where several passengers were left stranded in the Dau Terminal waiting for Manila-bound provincial buses due to the “window hour scheme.”

It vowed to make bus operators accountable for limiting their operations, as this is a violation of their special permits and certificates of public convenience.

MMDA Chairman Atty. Romando Artes, in an interview on Teleradyo, clarified that the window hours only pertain to the use of terminals within Metro Manila, but it does not limit the operating hours of the provincial buses.

He also said that this new policy, which was put in place to accommodate the request of bus operators, has been clarified and discussed with bus operators prior to the implementation.

Alex Yague, Nagkakaisang Samahan ng Nangangasiwa ng Panlalawigang Bus executive director, said some bus operators suspended their operations after some MMDA traffic enforcers allegedly apprehended them for violating the policy.

He also asked the MMDA to retain the window hours while both parties look for a better solution to the issue. 

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