Poe questions exemption of 300 buses from using PITX
Senator Grace Poe questioned the exemption given by two transportation agencies to 300 provincial buses to exempt them from using the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).
Poe, chair of the Senate public service committee, questioned both the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) why it allowed the 300 provincial buses to end their routes at the PITX.
The PITX serves as a multi-modal terminal in Parañaque and a transfer point of buses coming from Cavite, Batangas, and from other in-city modes of transportation.
The construction of the said terminal prevents the affected buses from entering Metro Manila as part of the government’s step to lessen the traffic congestion on Edsa, however, the exempted buses can travel until Manila areas.
“Mahigit dalawang taon na kayo diyan sa DOTr at LTFRB mula ng malaman niyo ang proyekto tungkol sa PITX, bakit nitong Oktubre niyo lang biglang naisipan palitan ang inyong polisiya o patakaran at biglang pinayagan pumasok sa kalakhang Maynila ang 300 na bus?” Poe asked during the Senate hearing.
Poe said that with the exemption given to the hundreds of buses, a number of complaints were raised from the public following the opening of PITX in November.
The PITX has been dubbed by the government as the first “landport” in the country and was supposedly going to be used by the buses from various areas as their end-point.
Among the complaints raised by Poe were the sentiments of other bus operators on the alleged special treatment given to the 300 buses.
Law enforcers around the area also got confused on which buses should they apprehend for violating the new regulation in which all buses should hold its terminal at PITX.
However, according to DOTr Assistant Secretary Mark de Leon, only 195 buses were only exempted and not 300.
These buses, De Leon said, were converted to city routes instead of having a provincial route.
De Leon explained that the economic growth in Metro Manila was the reason behind as to why the DOTr converted the 195 buses to have a city routes.
“Because of the urbanization and economic growth of Metro Manila, kailangan lumabas na yung commuters natin living inside the Metro Manila,” De Leon said. /jpv
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