Many LGUs still want borders closed to buses from MM due to COVID

While the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said that it is prepared for the possible reopening of provincial bus routes under the general community quarantine (GCQ), many local government units (LGUs) still want their borders  closed to buses originating from Metro Manila -- the current epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.


"We already have a meeting with the umbrella organization of locally elected officials and sinabi nila na (and they said that) a large majority of the provinces are still not willing to open up their borders,"  LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra III said.

Delgra added that governors of Region 3 or Central Luzon have issued a resolution   closing the borders for buses going to and from the capital region due to health reasons.

"These are the issues and challenges that we need to heed but obviously we need close coordination with the LGUs here as it has always been the concern and this has been the constant policy of the Department of Transportation and also of the IATF to prioritize public health consideration," Delgra said.

The LTFRB chief pointed out that there are provincial buses servicing inter-regional routes, particularly in Mindanao, that have been allowed to operate in a "calibrated and gradual manner."

"Sa mga lugar na puwede na at nagbubukas na ang kanilang mga LGU ng borders, pinapayagan na ang mga provincial bus na bumiyahe sa kanilang mga ruta, but then again a calibrated manner (In areas where LGUs have opened its borders, provincial buses were already allowed to service its routes, but in a calibrated manner)," he added.

Delgra said that they have been in constant coordination with provincial bus operators as part of its preparations for the reopening of  provincial bus routes.

"We already have conducted several consultations with the integrated bus operators para mas mapaganda pa nila 'yung units nila (for them to upgrade their units) once the provincial bus routes will be allowed," he said.

Delgra added that integrated bus terminals identified by the LTFRB and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for provincial buses going in and out of Metro Manila have been geared up to service passengers.

These terminals include the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange, North Luzon Expressway Integrated Terminal, Valenzuela Integrated Terminal, and Sta. Rosa Terminal in Laguna.