Police, transport monitors up as travelers surge during Lent

Mar. 28, 2018

A security guard checks the passengers bags and luggage as they enter the Agora bus terminal. The number of passengers is expected to surge during the Lenten season. (Jigger J. Jerusalem/davaotoday.com)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Police and transport officials here beefed up their monitoring and alert systems for the surge in the number of travelling persons due to the Lenten season.

Chief Supt. Timeteo Pacleb, the police regional director, said he has deployed more law enforcers in terminals, airports, seaports, highways, malls, resorts, churches and other convergence areas.

He also said they continue to undertake preemptive measures against terrorist attack and other criminalities.

Pacleb said he has ordered the putting up of Police Assistance Desks (PADs) stationed in strategic locations all over the region ready to extend services to the public.

Meanwhile, the transportation authorities have also conducted monitoring of public utility vehicles (PUVs) in bus terminals for roadworthiness.

Combined personnel from the Land Transportation Office-10 (LTO-10), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-10 (LTFRB-10), and Highway Patrol Group-10 (HPG-10) have made the rounds in bus terminals and have set up checkpoints along the highways to implement the Oplan Biyaheng Ayos.

LTFRB-10 regional director Aminoden Guro said they met with bus operators last week to remind them that their units must not only be roadworthy but must also be compliant with the agency’s Omnibus Franchising Guidelines which requires public buses to have global positioning system (GPS), wireless internet connection (WiFi), dashboard camera, and closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera, among others.

Guro said he has also emphasized to bus owners that their drivers must be physically fit to drive, adding that buses must have extra drivers on board for units traveling for more than six hours, especially those bound for Zamboanga and other far-flung areas in Mindanao.

Francisco Adonis III, Pabama Tours operations manager, said they might consider deploying their buses on Good Friday depending on the demand of the riding public.

Pabama Tours, one of the major bus companies operating in some parts of Northern Mindanao, has more than 50 units plying the Bukidnon and Gingoog routes.

As of Tuesday, Guro said the LTFRB-10 apprehended 10 vans and a bus operating without proper franchise documents.

He said the vans were bound for Davao; Butuan; Manticao, Misamis Oriental; and Camp Philips, Bukidnon, while the bus was operating the Malaybalay-Kibawe route.

One of the vans, which was apprehended last December, was released in February after the owner paid P210,000 to the LTFRB-10.

These confiscated vans and bus have no authority to solicit passengers. They are considered colorum, Guro said.

At present, the vehicles are impounded at the LTFRB-10 compound while the owners are subjected to legal procedures. (davaotoday.com)

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