Do not apprehend bus operators violating rules on integrated terminal, Poe tells DOTr
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) should not apprehend bus operators who would violate any rules on the newly integrated terminal Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX), at least during the holiday season, Senator Grace Poe has said.
“There should be no apprehensions, no issuance of penalty tickets or fines or whatsoever penal or impositions by the I-ACT or any enforcement authority during the holiday season,” Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services, said in her letter to DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade dated Dec. 19.
I-ACT is Inter-agency Council for Traffic, which consists of various transportation agencies such as the DOTr, the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group, the Land Transportation Office, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.
Poe made the call as she asked Tugade in the letter to address the issues surrounding the PITX particularly the “unfair exemption” given to 300 provincial buses.
“Why did the DOTr exempt certain provincial buses from terminating their routes at PITX?” Poe asked.
Under Memorandum Circular (MC) 2018-20, all public utility vehicles (PUVs) coming from the southwest west portion of Metro Manila are required to end their trips at the PITX.
However, the DOTr and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) then released Memorandum Circular 2018-022 that exempts hundreds of provincial buses to use the said terminal.
To address this issue, Poe demanded from the DOTr to take immediate action, including the submission of documents, that Tugade feels is relevant to the issue and to ensure parity.
“Please don’t implement any mechanism that would be unfair for the small bus operators and will just favor huge stakeholders,” Poe said.
“Justice and fairness require that a policy of non-discrimination is significant, that is for the commuters and the stakeholders. Policies should be made to apply to all,” she added.
The senator also asked the DOTr to conduct a dry-run in the terminal based on MC 2018-20 where all PUVs are required to use the PITX.
“Fairness demands that an effective dry-run be implemented taking into consideration its full efficient administration policy and for emphasis, using MC 2018-20,” she said.
On allegations of anomalies surrounding MC 2018-22, Poe urged the DOTr to conduct an internal investigation separate from the ongoing probe of the Senate./lb
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