Cebu transport group demands ouster of LTFRB head in Central Visayas
CEBU CITY — A local transport group on Thursday held a protest rally here to demand the removal of the director of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Central Visayas.
The Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide Cebu Chapter (PISTON Cebu) called for the removal of LTFRB regional director Eduardo Montealto Jr. whom they believed was favoring certain operators of public utility vehicles (PUVs) in Metro Cebu.
The group also aired problems raised by their colleagues in other parts of the country, including the so-called jeepney phaseout, the release of P160,000 assistance to drivers, and allowing a 5-year franchise of traditional jeepneys.
PISTON Cebu chairman Greg Perez said Montealto had been allowing operators of PUVs without franchises to ply routes using special permits or provisional authority which would affect the livelihood of drivers in the same routes.
He said Montealto also allowed special “Black Taxis” to proliferate in Metro Cebu. It is said that Black Taxis operate just like a ride-sharing system instead of a taxi.
“Why is it that some of those that were allowed to ply the routes do not have franchises? We believe he is favoring some operators.” said Perez in Cebuano.
The PISTON Cebu rally lasted for about an hour in front of the Summit Hotel, where LTFRB regional directors from all over the country had a conference.
When sought for comment, LTFRB-Central Visayas director Eduardo Montealto Jr. denied the allegations that he favors certain operators in the Metro Cebu area.
“All of them are favored. Wala koy gipili sa ilaha (I do not have favorites from any of them),” Montealto said in a text message.
Montealto said he respects the group holding a rally against him but stressed that he was only implementing the guidelines set by the LTFRB central office.
“That is their right. I support whatever the guidelines from the higher echelon for me. But pending whatever it would be, I shall continue to serve and fight for the overall development in our jurisdiction, Region 7. To my detractors, I love you all. We are all Filipinos. God Bless,” he said.
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