By Alexandria Dennise San Juan
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is now gearing up for safe and comfortable trips of passengers traveling during the Holy Week through “Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Semana Santa 2019.”
Following the directive of Transportation secretary Arthur Tugade, the LTFRB is now preparing to ensure sufficient trips for the expected influx of passengers, as well as the road worthiness of all public utility vehicles (PUVs) and readiness of PUV drivers during the Lenten season.
Based on the latest data from the agency, the Board has received a total of 484 applications covering 1,133 bus units for special permit with petition as of April 1.
Upon approval, these units will be allowed to travel outside their original routes to augment buses transporting thousands of passengers expected to travel to provinces in the Holy Week.
The duration of the special permit will run from April 14 to 22, the period when travelers are expected to travel out of the cities and back again.
Meanwhile, ocular inspections of transport terminals and garages across the country are also being coordinated by the LTFRB with bus companies and terminal operators to ensure their compliance on required facility standards, including security protocols, comfortable waiting areas, and clean restrooms.
The LTFRB, with the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Highway Patrol Group (HPG), and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), will also be conducting random inspections of bus units and franchise documents starting April 10 as part of ensuring the safety of the travelers.
The agency also continues to intensify its “Anti- Colorum” campaign against illegal PUVs and its “Oplan Isnabero” against taxi units with franchise violations this Holy Week.
Apart from these initiatives, DOTr’s round-the-clock Malasakit Help Desks have also been set up by the LTFRB in various transport terminals to address queries and complaints of passengers.