In perhaps one of the most perplexing news of late to concern the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, its chief officer made the revelation that Metro Manila has "too many public utility vehicles."
According to PhilStar.com, LTFRB chairperson Winston Ginez shared that approximately 3,500 city buses--all with franchises granted by the agency--traverse EDSA every day. On top of this figure are the out-of-line provincial buses, "whose operators assign certain units to other existing franchise routes without approval of the board."
Ginez admitted that, based on studies, EDSA can only accommodate 1,600 vehicles.
As for the jeepneys, the LTFRB chairperson shared that Metro Manila has around 6,000 franchised units, although a number of these supposedly hold franchises issued outside the National Capital Region and are therefore out of line.
Ginez also pointed out that, with the Land Transportation Office's ongoing license-plate standardization program, this problem will soon be resolved since the yellow plates issued to public utility vehicles will display not just the plate number "but also the region where the plates were issued."
Perhaps the LTFRB chairperson needs to be reminded that his agency's role is not just to "determine, prescribe, approve and periodically review and adjust reasonable fares, rates and other related charges"--it is also tasked to "prescribe and regulate routes of service." That's why the word "regulatory" is in its name in the first place.