The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Region 12 has temporarily recalled the special permit for the operations of passenger vans here in the wake of the border lockdown implemented by the city government, an official said on Monday.
Paterno Reynato Padua, LTFRB-12 director, said the recall was in support of the city’s efforts to limit the movement of residents and travelers from neighboring areas, especially those with suspected cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) local transmission.
He specifically identified passenger van routes from this city to Sarangani, South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat provinces.
At least 165 units under the fleet management of accredited transport cooperatives were affected by the move.
“This is due to the current safety and health issues related to Covid-19 affecting the area,” he told reporters.
The city government shut down its borders to non-essential travel starting Aug. 17 due to the increasing cases of feared locally transmitted Covid-19 infections in the area.
Similar cases were also recorded in Polomolok town in South Cotabato, Isulan in Sultan Kudarat, parts of North Cotabato and Cotabato City, promoting local government units to tighten their borders.
Local bus companies operating in the region continued their operations but were limited to the remaining open routes and subject to stringent control measures.
Aside from the mandatory wearing of face masks and face shields, Padua said they discourage passengers from talking with each other and answering their cellphones while inside public utility vehicles (PUVs).
He said they directed PUV operators and drivers to strictly observe and monitor proper compliance by passengers to these measures.
“Passengers should also observe safe physical distancing and there should be designated stops for PUVs,” he said. (PNA)