Sato lauds LTFRB for substitute buses

Rep. Josephine Sato.

OCCIDENTAL Mindoro Rep. Josephine “Nene” Ramirez Y. Sato on Tuesday lauded the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for ensuring that the suspension of Dimple Star bus service would not hamper public transportation in the province.

In a meeting with LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III in Quezon City on Monday in connection with the bus crash that claimed 19 lives, Sato, accompanied by Governor Gene Mendiola, agreed with the preventive suspension of Dimple Star’s operation pending a thorough investigation of the incident.

During the meeting, Sato was assured that special permits for additional Roro buses have been granted to fill the void left by the suspension of Dimple Star buses.

The LTFRB said 10 units of suspended Dimple Star would be immediately replaced with Ceres buses.

Also, the LTFRB vowed to conduct an immediate review of the franchise application of NARPIN for additional 10 buses.

Meanwhile, the agency clarified that resort-owned vans or vehicles do not require any franchise and are not covered by the preventive suspension from the LTFRB.

Sato and Mendiola also urged the LTFRB to review the current UV express routes from San Jose to Sablayan to Abra de Ilog.

To facilitate such review, the LTFRB in the Mimaropa Region will facilitate a meeting with UV express van drivers and operators at the Municipal Hall of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro prior to any decision on the matter.

Sato said the LTFRB should make sure that franchise holders are responsible enough to properly maintain their public utility vehicles, whether they are bus or jeepney, and that the drivers are responsible licensed professional drivers.

“I ardently hope that this kind of tragic accident will not happen again. Not in Occidental Mindoro, not anywhere else. It is about time that we put in place appropriate guidelines to ensure fast and efficient, but more importantly, safe public transport system,” Sato said.

p: wjg