More than 400 provincial buses will soon return to service around northern Luzon after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) approved the opening of five provincial bus routes beginning December 24.
In a statement on Wednesday, the LTFRB said a total of 440 provincial buses would ply the following routes: Baguio City to Mariveles, Bataan; Baguio City to Olongapo, Zambales; North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) to Baguio City; NLEX to Laoag City, Ilocos Norte; and NLEX to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.
“Alinsunod ito sa Memorandum Circular (MC) 2020-051G at MC 2020-051H na ipinasa ng LTFRB kahapon, ika-21 ng Disyembre 2020 (This is based on MC 2020-051G and MC 2020-051H passed by the LTFRB yesterday, the 21st of December 2020),” the statement read.
These buses, it said, must be roadworthy, have a valid Certificate of Public Convenience or Application for Extension of Validity, and must each be registered with a personal passenger insurance policy.
In place of a special permit, it said the operators of these buses must also secure a QR code from the LTFRB website at https://ltfrb.gov.ph/ and have it posted on their public utility vehicles (PUV).
“Kailangan ding sumunod ang mga pick-up at drop-off terminals ng mga naturang bus sa health at safety protocols bago payagang mag-operate ng local government units (The pick-up and drop-off terminals of these buses must also comply with health and safety protocols before they are allowed to operate by LGUs),” the LTFRB said.
It reminded operators that the LTFRB has not authorized any fare increase for PUVs since the beginning of the pandemic.
To date, the LTFRB has opened 41 provincial bus routes with 1,372 authorized buses, aside from 35 point-to-point bus routes with 404 buses. (PNA)