LTFRB eyes resumption of provincial bus trips in Metro Manila within September

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 16 2020 01:55 PM

A provincial bus pulls out from its terminal along EDSA in Quezon City on April 22, 2019, during a dry run banning provincial buses from loading and unloading along the highway. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA--Bus trips between the provinces and Metro Manila may resume within the month, a transport regulator said Wednesday in light of calls to expand public transportation. 

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Chair Martin Delgra said transport authorities are ironing out final preparations for the resumption of bus routes between the capital region and other parts of the country even though most provinces remain reluctant to open their borders for travel to and from Metro Manila.

"Inaayos lang po natin (We are finalizing it) and hopefully we will be able to open it within the month," he said during a virtual press briefing.

Provincial buses are banned from entering Metro Manila and are required to carry only half of their passenger capacity as the entire country remains under varying quarantine levels.

Metro Manila remains under general community quarantine until the end of the month where public transportation is allowed.

Only four out of 81 provinces consulted were open to the resumption of bus operations to and from Metro Manila such as Bataan and Quirino, Delgra added.

"Marami po sa kanila ang ayaw pa magbukas ng borders lalo na doon sa mga ruta na manggagaling ng Metro Manila," he said.

(Many of them still don't want to open their borders for travel to Metro Manila.)

While most parts of the country have eased travel restrictions, Delgra said local government units have to be consulted on inter-regional travel since there are limitations due to the pandemic.

"We need to coordinate with the LGUs concerned kasi sila ang sasalo ng mga pasahero and since we are in the context of a pandemic, naghahanda din yung mga LGUs paano nila ihahandle yung pasahero," he said.

(We need to coordinate with the LGUs concerned because they are the ones who will cater to the passengers and since we are in the context of a pandemic, they are also preparing for it.)