Agencies make rounds at QC bus terminals; drivers submit to drug test

Marje Pelayo   •   October 29, 2018   •   1952

A driver registering himself for a drug test in Quezon City

 

QUEZON CITY, Philippines Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra was on top of his voice when he accosted a dispatcher at a bus terminal in Quezon City on Monday (October 29).

“Kapag lagpas mo nito ng terminal na ito, sisitahin ko na ito. One million ang multa nito, colorum. Pipilitin ninyo iyan o hindi? Pipilitin ninyo ba o hindi?…Just follow the rules!” Delgra told the dispatcher when asked what to do with the bus units in the terminal.

Delgra was joined by representatives from the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Inter Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the inspection.

Three bus units where caught in violation of the law for operating out of line while another unit was stopped for having a faded plate.

The LTFRB argued that bus units must have CCTV, dash cam and GPS installed before operating.

The LTFRB added that every bus unit travelling for more than six hours should have an alternative driver.

“Kailangan may relyebo otherwise it’s a violation on the bus company; so, we will have to call their attention, if not penalize. Mahirap kasi, we’re trying to avoid accidents here. We’re trying to address road safety,” Delgra said.

Consequently the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) conducted a surprise random drug testing among drivers and bus conductors prior to their travel.

Delgra said one driver was tested positive from the test and was barred from driving after his licensed was suspended. He is likely to face charges for illegal drug use.

The MMDA, meanwhile, also conducted alcohol breath test to drivers to avoid drunk driving.

“Kapag nakainom ka na, ang tendency nito, it’s either hindi ka nga lasing pero kulang ka sa tulog; so napakadelikado para sa mga long drive. Nasa mahigit, more than 30 ‘yung dala mong pasahero. So, hindi ho natin papayagan na kahit ho konti, one percent ng alcohol, na bumiyahe ‘yung nasabing bus drive,” explained Celine Pialago, the MMDA’s assistant secretary.

Meanwhile, the public is advised to notify the authorities of any violation by bus drivers through police assistance desk in terminals or call LTFRB hotline number 1342, DOTr hotline 7890, and PNP hotline 117. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Anti-Red Tape body tells LTFRB to explain irregularities in TNVS policies

Robie de Guzman   •   July 24, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) on Wednesday asked the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to explain alleged irregularities in its policies for the application of permit for transport network vehicle service (TNVS).

In its show-cause order, the ARTA directed LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra to explain within three days the purported delays in the processing of permits and other irregularities as complained by TNVS applicants.

Based on its order, the anti-red tape agency said that among the other irregularities “identified and determined” to have been committed by the LTFRB was its failure to enforce Memorandum Circular No. 2018-005; failure to conduct hearings and render decisions for an unreasonable length of time on applications for certificate of public convenience to operate TNVS; and implementing abrupt changes in the requirements and procedures for TNVS application without due notice to the public.

The ARTA said failure to explain the aforementioned issues could be tantamount to defying President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to stop red tape in the government.

In a message to reporters, Delgra confirmed he has received the notice and assured to submit an explanation addressing the allegations within the deadline.

ARTA’s order came after groups of TNVS driver and operators went offline earlier this month in protest of LTFRB’s alleged inconsistencies in its policies in terms of TNVS application and registration. (with details from Joan Nano)

MMDA awaits SC decision on fate of provincial bus ban

Maris Federez   •   May 31, 2019

File photo: MMDA personnel accost provincial buses traversing Edsa. (Photo courtesy of MMDA)

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced on Wednesday that it leaves the fate of the proposed provincial bus ban up to the Supreme Court (SC).

MMDA traffic chief Bong Nebrija said in an interview that “it will depend on the order of the Court if they will tell us to scrap the policy or to hold its implementation.”

He added that they are just waiting for the court order.

Nebrija made the statement after several lawmakers filed separate petitions before the SC to stop the implementation of MMDA Regulation No. 19-002.

The order seeks to ban all provincial buses from plying along Edsa, which one of the petitioners, Albay Representative Joey Salceda, believes as “oppressive and unfair.”

Read: Salceda urges SC to halt provincial bus ban on EDSA

Nebrija further said that while there is still no court order, the MMDA will still push through with its preparations and their plans for the bus terminal closure, which the agency targets to implement in June.

“We’ll wait kung go or no go but we are still preparing, we’re still pushing with the plan. In the absence of a court order, we will push through with it,” he added.

The MMDA official believes that the impending implementation of the provincial bus ban on Edsa remains as one of the best alternatives to decongest Metro Manila roads.

Read: MMDA: Edsa bus ban one of the best options in decongesting Metro Manila

Nebrija, however, said that they still haven’t come up with a timeline from preparations to implementation as they are still yet to receive the policy guidelines from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

The MMDA had implemented a dry run of the bus ban in April but suspended it in less than a month.

Read: Provincial bus ban dry run suspended—MMDA

/mbmf

LTFRB taps MMDA, IACT in enforcing UV Express pick-and-drop points

Robie de Guzman   •   May 28, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced on Monday it will work with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (IACT) in enforcing the point-to-point transport operation of UV Express Service units.

Under Memorandum Circular 2019-025, the LTFRB abolished the two-kilometer radius from UV Express units’ endpoints in which they were allowed to load and unload passengers.  

The new circular, which amended a 2009 memo, was signed by LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra on May 16.

Delgra said the new policy was actually part of a 2005 memorandum which provides the original concept of UV Express Service, allowing them to only pick-up and drop off commuters at terminals specified in their franchise.

He said the Board implemented the regulation after noting that most UV Express drivers do not use the designated terminals to load and unload passengers between their endpoints. The time used in picking up and dropping off of passengers also slows down traffic.

“If you will notice kapag may sasakay sa loob ng UV, bababa yung buong sumasakay sa isang linya ng buong UV, bababa muna bago bababalik na naman sasakay, o kaya yung bababa ay nasa likod ng driver bababa muna bubuksan yung pintuan sa likod,” he said.

But a group of UV Express drivers opposed the policy, saying this will affect their income, and add to the daily burden of passengers.

“Hindi po pwede ‘yun sa mga pasahero gawa ng hindi naman po iisa ang pupuntahan ng pasahero. Paano kung SM fairview kami? Doon lahat bababa eh dito lang ang baba ng iba sa Philcoa,” said driver Ernesto Ebio.

“’Pag umaasa kami sa pila, wala kaming kikitain, kasi yung mga pasahero na galing sa pila merong bumababa ng malapit. Kapag nagkataon na merong sasakay para ‘yun yung pinaka extra naming [kita]” said driver Cesar Lipat.

Commuters, meanwhile, expressed varying reactions on the issue.

Some said the new policy will bring inconvenience to passengers while others lauded it as point-to-point transport operation will hasten their travel.

The LTFRB has advised affected passengers to use other available modes of public transportation to reach their destination.

LTFRB Chairman Delgra said they are now coordinating with the MMDA and IACT in relation with the apprehension of drivers who will fail to comply with the new policy.

Violators will be meted out with a fine of up to P15,000 for breach of franchise; their driver’s license may also be revoked for repeated offenses. (with details from Joan Nano)

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