An umbrella organization of bus operators warns against possible shortage of buses in Metro Manila if the government continued to enforce the vehicle phase-out program.
The Nagkakaisang Samahan ng Nangangasiwa sa Pambansang Bus ng Pilipinas, Inc. (NSNPBP) called for the suspension of the vehicle phase-out program, as well as the consolidation and route rationalization programs.
“I understand they just cut the route based on a Google map. The program does not consider the viability of routes,” said NSNPBP president Vincent Rondaris during the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) general membership meeting on Wednesday. Rondaris said when an application for a route was made, its economic value should be ascertained.
“You cannot keep on cutting or modifying routes without considering this. By simply cutting routes without prior study or on-ground assessment, the operator’s viability is diminished,” he added.
Provincial operators deplored that they were not allowed to use their terminals in Metro Manila for over two years now, lest their franchises would be suspended or revoked, and the buses impounded.
Only operators who applied for special permits were given QR codes with the condition to use the ITX and their own terminals.
Some of the group’s proposal to ease traffic congestion involved long- term strategies that included the use of high occupancy vehicles on the primary roads and the creation of a Mega Manila Transport Authority that would be in charge of a unified traffic system, as well as the issuance of transport franchise on land, sea, rail and air routes in Metro Manila.
NSNPBP also underscored the need to transfer government offices outside Metro Manila to help in the decongestion efforts and a data hub that to be used in developing measures to improve the flow of traffic in Metro Manila.
Rondaris said the operators’ group would also continue to push for is the continuous, meaningful and serious sincere dialogue between the LGU, policymakers and stakeholders of the transport sectors.
With the change in national public leadership, the group recommended a revamp of the current leadership in the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory and Board (LTFRB).
“We respectfully and humbly recommend that the chair of LTFRB should come from the land transport industry and the second member should be an architect or engineer knowledgeable in urban planning, data development and environmental matters. And then lastly, the third member should come from the commuter or labor group,” Rondaris said.