Govt ban on N. Luzon provincial buses lead to hefty fees: ex-senator

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 05 2022 02:31 PM

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MANILA - Government is insisting that provincial buses from northern Luzon use the Bocaue Terminal because they need to pay a hefty amount, a former senator said Tuesday.

Bus companies need to pay P100,000 monthly per slot in the privately-owned terminal, according to former senator Nikki Coseteng.

"So that’s P1.2 million per slot per year. If you have 10 slots, that's P12 million for that bus company. And every time a bus enters to pickup or deposit passengers, you have to pay P400. This is ridiculous. Are you going to still charge the passengers more?" she told ANC's Headstart.

"The fine is P1 million per bus despite having a franchise if they enter Metro Manila. They don't even fine murderers P1 million."

Coseteng added that there there was still heavy traffic along Metro Manila's main thoroughfare despite the absence of provincial buses.

"It is not the buses. There are 11,000 provincial buses nationwide and 400,00 cars that would use EDSA per day. How many people can fit in a bus vis-avis a car? I's not really the buses that's clogging EDSA," she said.

The Department of Transportation has yet to meet with bus firms, Coseteng said.

Provincial buses was recently given a 2-week trial period where they are allowed to enter EDSA from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., according to the senator.

"Last March 10 the IATF (Inter-Agency task Force Against COVDI-19) already said open up the north so people can come in...These are buses that have been mothballed for 2 years. Holy Week is fast approaching, you cannot just make the buses run," she said.

The issue is among the reasons why the party-list system is important and that these lawmakers must come from the sector they represent, she said.

"There are specific sectors that are unheard. This represents just the northern travelers, this represents 450,000 per day that are cruelly treated by the LTFRB, DOTr and to some extent the MMDA because of the policies they have insisted on implementing," she said.

"That is a situation that is very difficult to solve because you’re counting on the very same members to change the system that will negatively or adversely affect themselves. I think it’s really a mater of showing that you actually represent the sector and you have to come from the sector."