The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Friday issued a one-month preventive suspension on public utility buses (PUBs) of the Victory Liner for the involvement of one of its units in a road accident in La Union last Jan. 3.
A west-bound Victory bus traversing the Aspiras Highway in Barangay Cares, Pugo, La Union busted one of its tires. The driver lost control of the vehicle and it slammed onto an acacia tree.
The bus conductor, including two passengers reportedly died on the spot, while other passengers were injured and taken to the hospital.
The LTFRB banned all PUBs of Victory Liner plying the Cubao, Quezon City to Baguio City via Dau, Tarlac, and Urdaneta, from operating for one month upon receipt of the order.
During this period, the LTFRB enjoined the firm’s drivers assigned to the said affected units to undergo a road safety seminar conducted by the Land Transportation Office.
Victory was likewise directed to present the roadworthiness certificates of the PUB units, except the one involved in the accident.
Victory was also ordered to present proof that it extended financial assistance and paid the insurance benefits to the victims’ families.
The bus company was also told to schedule regular preventive maintenance service of its fleet under suspension, and to surrender the affected license plates to the LTFRB legal division.
Additionally, Victory Liner was instructed to explain writing within 72 hours why its certificate of public convenience should not be suspended, cancelled, or revoked for violation of the terms and conditions of their franchise, and to appear before the regulatory body on Jan. 24, 2023.
Failure to appear at the inquiry would be deemed a waiver and the panel will decide the case based on available documents.
The LTFRB’s Transport Inspectors, including other traffic enforcement agencies were also ordered to apprehend and impound the suspended PUB units if found to be operating while under suspension.
“While the incident may look like it was unintentional, it could have been still avoided had the bus involved underwent a thorough road worthiness inspection.
This should be a lesson learned for all public utility vehicles. The mindset of bus operators, drivers and conductors should always be about road safety whenever they go out and serve the commuting public; otherwise they have no business operating in the public transportation sector,” LTFRB chairman Teofilo Guadiz III said.