MANILA, Philippines–Provincial bus operations have normalized at the Coastal Mall integrated terminal in Parañaque City as of 11 a.m. Tuesday, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said.
At around 7 a.m., Cavite-bound passengers were left stranded in Coastal Mall, apparently because drivers were preventing the provincial buses from leaving terminals in Bacoor and Imus.
Around three drivers were also attempting to convince their fellows at the Parañaque terminal to halt operations to protest the Southwest Integrated Terminal system, city chief of police Senior Supt. Ariel Andrade said.
The instigating drivers left when Parañaque police and MMDA personnel arrived, but dispatcher Ramon Ibis Villarosa, 56, of Erjohn Bus was brought to the nearby police precinct for beeping a bus horn and urging drivers to do the same, Andrade said.
The MMDA had deployed two trucks to ferry the waiting passengers to Naic, Cavite, though buses from Cavite already started trickling in by 8:30 a.m., said MMDA assistant general manager for operations Emerson Carlos.
MMDA chair Francis Tolentino, in a statement, said “This is another sad incident on the penchant of certain groups for bickering where every well-meaning effort is questioned, with private agenda unknown to me and the MMDA and have fanned flames when there should be none.”
“Since bus operations is imbued with public interest, the striking bus operators are liable to the public and to the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB),” Tolentino added.
The LTFRB have also sent personnel at the Coastal Mall to ensure continuous operations.