Antique gov’t responds to safety concerns vs ‘killer curve’ after bus accident

December 7, 2023 - 6:34 PM
Rescuers conduct a retrieval operation after a bus carrying dozens of people lost its brakes and fell off a cliff in the central province of Antique, Philippines, December 5, 2023. (Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office - Urban Search and Rescue Unit/Handout)

The Antique Provincial Government is “actively implementing” safety measures on a road where a bus recently figured in a tragic accident.

A bus from Ceres Transport on December 5 careened off a road, which was touted as the “killer curve,” and fell into a deep ravine. This accident-prone area is located in Barangay Fabrica in the town of Hamtic in Antique.

The accident resulted in the deaths of 17 passengers, while the rest were brought to different hospitals for injuries.

READ: 17 killed in Antique bus crash

Rescuers reportedly took 11 hours to recover all the bus passengers.

Antique’s “killer curve” was later talked about on social media, wherein several Filipinos recalled the numerous bus accidents that took place there.

Following the tragedy, the provincial government addressed the safety concerns that the public raised about the deadly highway.

“The entire Antiqueño community is deeply saddened by the unfortunate loss of our fellow kasimanwas in the recent tragic incident at the notorious killer curve,’ resulting in the tragic loss of eighteen lives,” the provincial government said.

“The Provincial Government of Antique is actively implementing essential measures to address the safety concerns in this accident-prone zone, ensuring the protection of those traveling through this route,” it also added.

In an interview with CNN Philippines’ Balitaan, Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao also appealed to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to build another route in this area to prevent more tragic accidents in the future.

“I appeal to the DPWH to condemn that road and make another route,” Cadio was quoted in the report as saying.

The governor also noted that the DPWH only managed to put up “Band-Aid solutions” to the road’s issues, citing putting up barriers and warning signs each time an accident was reported.

Some Filipinos also told the government to invest in more effective road and safety infrastructures for the riding public.

“Government road infrastructure should invest in concrete road barrier na can withstand yung impact ng isang sasakyan. Usually kasi ilalagay na barrier sa mga mountain roads ay maninipis at mababang guardrails kahit motorcycle na mahina impact kayang buwagin ang steel guardrails na yan kaya useless,” a Facebook user said.

Holding the bus company accountable

Several Filipinos, meanwhile, called on the government to investigate Ceres Transport. They said that its vehicles have a reputation for their poor quality of services to the commuters.

“Hays, Ceres Liner, tbh [to be honest], usually mga luma/sira yung mga bus na pinapasada niyo pero first time lang na call out yung quality of services niyo,” an X user commented.

“Ceres na naman hayyy ambilis kasi magpatakbo ng mga buses na to,” another X user also said.

Vallacar Transit Inc. (VTI), the bus company operating Ceres Transport, announced that it suspended the operations of the 12 remaining bus units under the franchise of the bus involved in the accident.

The company will also be providing financial assistance to the victims, including their medical and burial expenses.

“Rest assured that we are doing everything that we can to make sure this is being handled properly and carefully,” VTI said.

“The management guarantees the riding public that we are taking all appropriate steps to ensure that our buses are road-worthy and well-maintained,” it added.

Moreover, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board also ordered a 90-day suspension against the Ceres bus vehicles amid the pending investigation.

READ: LTFRB suspends Ceres bus units after Antique road crash kills almost 20