By Minerva Newman
CEBU CITY — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB-7)-Central Visayas asked all local government units (LGUs), government agencies and private companies to apply for special permits for vehicles being used to ferry workers to and from work places during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
LTFRB-7 Regional Director Eduardo Montealto Jr. said that, under the ECQ, government authorities suspended mass transportation and operations of public utility vehicles that has posed problems for workers in exempted and essential establishments.
Montealto reminded the public that only those with special permits from LTFRB-7 may shuttle passengers of essential and exempted companies, and only PUVs with legitimate franchises or the Certificate of Public Convenience (CPCs) will be granted these special permits.
He added that non-compliance with these special permits will tag these vehicles as colorum, and liable operators could face fines of up to P1 million depending on the vehicle being apprehended.
Montealto stressed that even if the PUV may have been issued a franchise from the LTFRB, but would ply the streets without a special permit during ECQ period, the vehicle will still be considered colorum.
Special permits can be obtained for P170/vehicle that will be good for three days. However, Montealto assured the public that these special permits may be given to operators for free if the LGUs or government agencies under contract with the transport operators will offer the same transport service for free.
When ECQ was declared among the provinces and cities within Central Visayas, LTFRB-7 has already issued 29 special permits to some 55 vehicle units, Montealto said. LGUs and agencies which applied for special permits included the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV), Cebu Provincial Government, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, and Cebu City, he added.
“To avail of the free special permit, the concerned LGU should submit an endorsement letter to the LTFRB office, requesting for the grant of the special permit to a certain transport company, stating in said request the passengers who will be shuttled, and the name of the exempt establishment or essential industry classification whom the buses will cater to,” Montealto bared.