Age limit on buses, mini buses draws flak

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013


THE Cebu Provincial Bus Operators Association (CPBOA) and the Cebu South Mini Bus Operators Association (CSMBOA) signed a petition urging the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) to stop implementing its order fixing at 15 years the age limit of passenger buses and mini buses.

In a meeting at Sacred Heart Center yesterday, CPBOA president Richard Corominas and CSMBOA president Julito Flores said Resolution 2013-01 of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is unreasonable and arbitrary and cannot be stamped with validity under the guise of promoting safety and convenience of the riding public.

The LTFRB passed en banc Resolution 2013-01 to implement DOTC Department Order (DO) 2002-030, which will not renew the certificate of public convenience or franchise of buses that are 15 years old and above.

DO 2002-030 was issued in 2002 but in 2006, the DOTC issued another order allowing the renewal of the franchise of buses and mini buses age 15 years and above provided that the operators submit a certificate of roadworthiness from the Land Transportation Office (LTO), subject to the Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS).

However, in Resolution 2013-01 issued last Jan. 18, the LTFRB en banc resolved to observe the 15-year age limit even on units with road worthiness and MVIS certificates.

LTFRB 7 Director Ahmed Cuizon said they already implemented DO 2002-030 because Resolution 2013-01 took effect immediately.

“The age of the units (buses) is not the prime consideration to ensure the safety and well-being of the general riding public. As a matter of fact, there is no concrete data showing that accidents were contributed primarily by buses and mini-buses which are 15 years of age and over from the time that the certificate of roadworthiness from the MVIS was used in the year 2006,” read the petition.

No consultation

The transport groups said the LTFRB did not consult them before passing Resolution 2013-01.

“We are asking for a 10-year period to recover our investment and save so we can afford to buy new fleets,” Corominas said.

Robert Librando of Librando Trans said bus operators must be given a certain period of time to buy new units, since almost all existing buses and mini buses are still in good running condition.

Esperidion Canoneo of Canoneo Trans said it’s unfair if the franchise of buses and mini buses that are certified roadworthy by MVIS is not renewed just because these are 15 years and above.

Flores also said in their units’ preventive maintenance, old spare parts are replaced with new ones.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 06, 2013.

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