The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has once again addressed the issue of window hours for provincial buses within Metro Manila.
In a statement, the agency said it has received reports of deputy presidential spokesperson Michael Ablan saying provincial bus operators may use their respective private terminals following the issuance of Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution no. 164, which supposedly negates the section of Resolution no. 101 that requires the use of the Integrated Terminal Exchange (ITX).
Following a meeting between the LTFRB, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the three agencies clarified that provincial buses must still abide by the 10pm-5am window hours and must continue to use the ITX.
“Bilang paglilinaw, ang Window Hour Policy ng MMDA na pagpayag sa paggamit ng private terminals ng mga provincial bus mula 10pm hanggang 5am ay hindi nangangahulugan na bibiyahe ang naturang mga bus sa itinakdang oras,” the LTFRB said.
“Hindi kailanman naglabas ng kautusan na pagbawalan ang mga provincial bus na mag-operate sa labas ng window hours ngunit patuloy ang paglilinlang ng mga provincial bus operator sa mga pasahero na pinapayagan lang sila mag-operate sa mga nabanggit na oras.”
The LTFRB proceeded to reiterate the “gentleman’s agreement” that took place between the MMDA and provincial bus operators, and that inspections have shown that private terminals still aren’t able to adhere to basic health and safety protocols.
To help commuters cope, the agency is now looking into increasing the capacity of Cubao Integrated Terminal and improving the ITX’s link to other parts of Metro Manila through the addition of more routes. You can check out the LTFRB’s full statement below:
LTFRB statement on provincial bus window hours
Well, it looks like this issue won’t be resolved any time soon. The worst part is that commuters will continue to take the brunt of this disagreement. How do you think this should be addressed?