The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Central Visayas is now issuing special permits to private vehicles commissioned to ferry workers of essential establishments, medical front-liners and public officials and employees.
Retired Col. Eduardo Montealto Jr., LTFRB-7 regional director, said private companies and local government units (LGU) should secure a permit for special travel of vans, mini-buses, buses, and modern public utility vehicles in order to legalize their operation during the enhanced community quarantine amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) threat.
“Out of courtesy, they (private companies) need to get an endorsement from the LGU before they can obtain the special permit from the LTFRB-7,” Montealto said, emphasizing that LGUs are exempted from paying the permit fee of PHP170.
The agency will collect a minimum fee of PHP170 per vehicle for the three-day operations of vehicles hired by private companies. A special permit good for a month-long operation is also available.
So far, 25 private companies and LGUs have applied for the special permit, he said. The Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) also applied for special permit for the buses they deployed to ferry front-line medical workers to and from hospitals.
Montealto said vehicles carrying passengers without such special permit can be considered as “colorum” and will be flagged down by operations personnel of the LTFRB-7.
“This is to ensure that those vehicles operating during this Covid-19 crisis are covered with franchise and passenger insurance. In case what will happen to the passengers, they are covered,” he said.
Due to the enhanced community quarantine in Cebu, Montealto said the agency has implemented a 50-50 work arrangement where half of the workforce report to work while the remaining half stay at home.
The LTFRB-7 is now holding office inside the Robinson’s Galleria after their rented building was gutted down by fire in October last year.
However, private companies can file their application for special permit online and payment can be made once the nationwide health crisis is over, Montealto said.
He said private vehicles apprehended due to lack of special permit can be slapped with a PHP200,000 penalty for vans and PHP1 million for buses.
“Aside from conducting road-side inspections, we are in full support to all LGUs, especially the province and city government so that whatever we implement is aligned with their orders. Their orders are also aligned with the national directives,” he said. (PNA)