The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board distanced itself from the new window-hour policy that some provincial bus companies have implemented.
The board’s statement came after several big bus companies announced that all their bus terminals in Metro Manila will only ferry passengers from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. only.
In their advisories, they stated that this change in their operating hours are in compliance to a new policy from authorities.
In a statement on Wednesday, April 20, the LTFRB said that it is not part of the agreement the bus operators have with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) concerning this scheme.
“Sa umpisa pa lang, nais linawin ng LTFRB na hindi kasama ang ahensya sa nabanggit na kasunduan habang ito ay pinag-uusapan, ngunit ipinaalam naman ito noong nagkaroon ang MMDA ng dalawang linggong dry run ng nasabing window hour scheme, at nirerespeto ng aming ahensya ang naturang polisiya,” the agency said.
It was referring to the dry run the MMDA conducted last March where provincial buses were allowed along EDSA within the same period.
The LTFRB also clarified a misunderstanding that provincial buses are limited to start their services from 10 p.m. and end in 5 a.m. only.
The agency said that they can still operate beyond this period.
However, passengers will have to be transferred to terminals of city buses to take them to their destinations in Metro Manila.
“Tulad ng ipinaliwanag ng MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) sa pagpupulong ng mga opisyal mula sa dalawang ahensya, ang kanilang naging kasunduan sa mga provincial bus operator, ay maaaring gamitin ang kanilang pribadong terminal mula 10:00 PM hanggang 5:00 AM,” LTFRB said.
“Samantala, kapag ito ay lampas sa nasabing window hours, ay kinakailangang magtungo sa mga sumusunod na ITX kung saan may mga city buses na maghahatid sa mga pasahero,” it added.
These terminal hubs are as follows:
- PITX in Parañaque City– Quezon, Region 4-A, MIMAROPA, and Bicol
- PITX at Araneta Center, Cubao in Quezon City – Region 4-A CALABARZON
- NLET in Bulacan – Region 1, 2, and CAR
- NLET and Araneta Center, Cubao – Region 3
- SRIT in Laguna – provincial buses from Visayas and Mindanao
The bus companies that previously issued advisories to their patrons include the following:
On permits to operate
The LTFRB also stressed that there are provincial bus operators that are granted “permits to operate.”
These permits allow them to ferry passengers at any given time.
The agency, however, did not mention names of these bus operators.
“Nais bigyang diin ng ahensya na ang mga ‘permit to operate’ ay ibinigay sa mga provincial bus operator, upang maghatid ng mga pasahero sa anumang oras kapag may pangangailangan, at hindi lamang sa oras ng gabi tulad ng inihayag nila sa ilang mga platform,” LTFRB said.
The agency warned them that they will be held accountable should they violate their agreements with the MMDA.
“Dahil sa kanilang hindi pagsunod, at lantarang paglabag sa kanilang mga special permit at Certificate of Public Convenience o CPC para mag-operate, tinitiyak ng pamunuan ng LTFRB na sila ay papanagutin sa tahasang paglabag na ito,” the agency said.
Meanwhile, in a reply to an inquiry on the window hour, the MMDA, however, said the LTFRB is behind the policy.