Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas should order the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to immediately transfer the franchises awarded to former employees of the shuttered Pantranco North Express Inc. to Victory Liner Inc.
Northern Samar Representative Emil Ong, chairman of the House committee on labor, said: “He (Roxas) has to follow the decision of the Supreme Court that the salaries of the employees have the priority lien over the assets of the bankrupt corporation. That’s the law.”
Bayan Muna party-list Representative Teodoro Casiño said Roxas “should let the LTFRB do its job of transferring the franchises to the company to which the former Pantranco workers sold it to.”
Casiño lauded Transportation Undersecretary Rafael Santos for assuring the ex-Pantranco employees headed by their two union presidents, Romy Alfonso of Pantranco Retrenched Employees Association and Jun Pascua of Pantranco Employees Association, that Roxas had not cancelled the Pantranco franchises.
Santos said what Roxas had ordered a review of the transfer of the franchises to Victory Liner, to which rival bus companies protested that the franchises should have expired when Pantranco closed down years ago.
Casiño said Pantranco’s workers had waited for decades to receive their overdue compensation. He pointed out the Supreme Court not only upheld the union’s right to the Pantranco franchises, but the LTFRB also validated their transfer to the unions.
“It’s not right for a certificate of public conveyance in the land transportation sector to be transferred arbitrarily without the consent of its rightful owner, which is the state,” Roxas had said when he suspended the May 21 decision of the LTFRB resurrecting Pantranco’s 489 bus franchises.