LTFRB, MMDA blame bus operators over confusion on window-hour scheme | Inquirer News
‘SABOTAGED, HOSTAGED'

LTFRB, MMDA blame bus operators over confusion on window-hour scheme

/ 10:55 AM April 22, 2022
LTFRB, MMDA blame bus operators over confusion on window-hour scheme

FILE PHOTO: A bus on Edsa.  INQUIRER/ NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines — As many passengers were left stranded amid the implementation of the window-hour scheme, two government agencies at the helm of the program’s implementation have blamed provincial bus operators for the confusion.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said provincial bus operators “sabotaged” and took passengers hostage by interpreting the policy differently.

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LTFRB executive director Maria Kristina Cassion said Friday that provincial bus operators took passengers hostage by only scheduling trips at night, even though they can still travel in the morning.

“Ang nangyari po ay naging hostage ‘yung ating mga pasahero sa mga demands ng mga provincial bus operators from the north na pinipilit nila talaga at iniiba nila ang interpretasyon doon sa agreement nila with MMDA,” Cassion said in an interview with Teleradyo on Friday.

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(The passengers became hostage to the demands of our provincial bus operators from the north. They are interpreting their agreement with MMDA differently.)

Cassion made the remark following travel advisories posted by some provincial bus companies, saying departures and arrivals from their respective Metro Manila terminals will only take place from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The MMDA earlier set window hours for provincial buses from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Buses’ origins and points of destination beyond the said window hours should only be at specific integrated terminals where city buses can ferry the passengers.

READ: MMDA explains confusing policy

“So ibig sabihin na kailangan nilang bumyahe maaraw man o maggabi but they chose to interpret it in such a way na gabi lang daw sila bibyahe pero kung titingnan natin ‘yung kanilang special permit ay ‘yung kanilang prangkisa ay nakasaad doon sa mga terms and conditions doon na they have the responsibility to transport passengers at any time of the day when there is demand,” Cassion said.

(That means they have to operate in the morning or evening but they chose to interpret in such a way that they can only travel at night. But if we look at their special permit in their franchise, it’s stated there in their terms of conditions that they have the responsibility to transport passengers at any time of the day when there is demand.)

“They are very defiant. Gusto nila talaga at any time of the day doon sila sa private terminals nila. Ayaw nila magpa-control, ayaw nilang magpa-regulate. That’s just the bottomline kaya sila nagiimbento ng rason na sa gabi lang sila mago-operate,” she added.

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(They are very defiant. They really want to be able to go to their private terminals at any time of the day. They do not want to be controlled and regulated. That’s just the bottomline, that’s why they are inventing a reason that they can only operate at night.)

READ: Transport agency clarifies MMDA rule

‘SABOTAGE’

For his part, MMDA chairman Atty. Romando Artes branded the move of provincial bus operators to not schedule trips in the morning as a “sabotage.”

“Hinostage po nila… Ito po ay sasabihin ko na ng diretsuhan, mukha pong sinabotahe nila or sinadya nila ‘yung hindi pagbyahe,” Artes said in a separate interview with Teleradyo.

(They took the passengers hostage… I will say this straight, it looks like they are sabotaging or consciously choosing not to operate.)

“Gusto po kasi nila na magtuloy-tuloy ‘yung ating pagluluwag na makapagbaba at makapagsakay sila sa kani-kanilang terminal (They want to be able to continue to transport passengers to and from their own terminals),” he added.

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TAGS: bus, LTFRB, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Transportation, window hour
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