LTFRB denies appeal to issue special permits to other PUVs

LILOAN Mayor Christina Garcia-Frasco decried the decision of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to deny her appeal to allow the issuance of special permits to other public utility vehicles (PUVs) aside from buses, so that they can accommodate the affected riding public in her town.

In a statement posted on her official Facebook page, Frasco said she was saddened by the LTFRB’s decision as additional PUVs are needed to serve her constituents who need to go back to work following the declaration of Cebu under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Frasco also questioned why the LTFRB would not issue special permits to other PUVs when the agency’s Memorandum Circular 2020-017 does not prohibit other PUVs to operate.

Under the memorandum, buses are the preferred mode of transport during GCQ due to their capacity to implement social distancing, while public utility jeepneys (PUJs) are the least priority.

Frasco said, “A simple reading of the LTFRB Memorandum would reveal that PUVs/PUJs are not prohibited. In fact, the Memorandum even lays down the requirements for passenger capacity of PUJs. Unfortunately, our pleas for a reasonable application of the LTFRB’s policy remains unheeded because they prefer only buses to the exclusion of over a thousand PUVs that traditionally served the northern routes that could help ease the transport woes of our people.”

She said the 55 buses issued with special permits by the LTFRB are not enough to accommodate the 2,000 workers living in Liloan who have to resume work during the GCQ.

Frasco said due to the lack of alternative modes of public transportation, some of her constituents would wait along the national highway for several hours before they could catch a ride. Others had to walk several kilometers just to get to work.

“And so it begs the question, in the LTFRB’s hierarchy of public transportation, where do the Cebuano commuters rank?” Frasco said.

Frasco hoped that national policy implementers would consider the situation of those living in local government units.

SunStar Cebu tried to contact LTFRB 7 Director Eduardo Montealto Jr. but to no avail by press time. (JKV)