Bus firm awaits LTFRB’s signal-A A +A
Saturday, October 27, 2012
A BUS company in Cebu is hoping that the Department Of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) will soon lift the franchise moratorium on tourist bus facilities, so they can take advantage of the growing demand for bus charters.
Ceres Bus Liner branch manager Anselmo Ambos Jr. said the company is looking at adding bus units that would cater solely to chartered services.
“We are seeing a continued growth in this market. This market alone makes up five to 10 percent of our total bus operations. If the moratorium will be lifted, given the increase in demand, we might add more buses to cater to this market,” Ambos said in a recent interview.
The company, at present, uses its stand-by units to cater to requests like educational tours of schools or lakbay-aral tours of government offices.
Ceres Bus Liner has 253 buses operating in Cebu Province, but the company is looking at increasing their bus units as soon as they get the go signal from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LFTRB).
Ambos cited Cebu’s vibrant tourism industry as one of the company’s growth drivers. He said the province’s programs like Suroy-Suroy Sugbo, in particular, have helped increase the number of commuters visiting different areas.
In a phone interview, Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 Director Rowena Montecillo said she already wrote a letter to the LTFRB 7 requesting for a possible lifting of the tourist bus/coaster moratorium as requested by transport operators.
Montecillo said the issue was raised during a private sector meeting with DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. during his recent visit to Bohol. She said Jimenez immediately coordinated with officials of DOTC-Manila upon the request of the transport operators.
“The sector believes they should be given additional bus units, given the growth of tourism in the region. How can they service huge groups?” Montecillo said. She confirmed there are not enough bus units that can handle huge tourist groups that visit Cebu and Bohol.
Aside from attracting leisure travelers from overseas countries to enjoy Cebu’s pristine beaches, warm hospitality, and rich heritage and culture, Cebu is also positioning to become a preferred destination for Meetings, Incentives, Convention and Exhibition (Mice) events.
According to Montecillo, Mice events can be considered high-value markets whose requirements are not only limited to airport access and huge convention facilities but also better transport services.
She was told that the new DOTC secretary is reviewing their requests.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 27, 2012.