The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has canceled the entire fleet of Dimple Star Bus Co. after it figured in road crashes that resulted in multiple deaths and injuries.
The decision to cancel the entire fleet consisting of 11 franchises was made Tuesday after the LTFRB conducted deliberations following an incident wherein Dimple Star bus fell off a cliff in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro that left 19 people dead and 21 others injured last March.
“We are cancelling the franchise of the entire fleet of Dimple Star because of repetitive recklessness in their transport service. One death is already one too many,” LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III said in a statement on Wednesday.
Dimple Star Bus Co. has been involved in eight road crashes, including the fatal incident in Occidental Mindoro, which led to the deaths of more than 25 people and injuries of 134 others based on LTFRB records from 2011 to 2018.
In its decision, the Board said that Dimple Star was negligent in ensuring roadworthiness of its bus units and the safety of its passengers as manifested by its involvement in various road accidents.
“The units authorized to operate simply manifest the respondents as a PUB [public utility bus] operator who is consistently irresponsible and unmindful of the safety and convenience of their passengers, thereby endangering public safety,” the decision read.
“The facts and circumstances which led to the numerous deaths and injuries could have been avoided had the respondent management should have been more responsible, diligent and cautious in the management and maintenance of the buses and professional supervision of its drivers and conductors, as well as faithful compliance with related laws, regulations, and ordinances for the land transportation service, which were enacted for public safety and convenience,” it added.
The LTFRB has initially imposed a 30-day preventive suspension order on Dimple Star buses with franchise plying the route from San Jose, Occidental Mindoro to Manila after the road accident in Sablayan.
The Board eventually suspended the entire fleet covering 11 franchises of 118 bus units, pending compliance with certain terms and conditions on the PSO upon review of the series of road crashes involving their buses.