Passengers crowd terminals for Holy Week peak days

PASSENGERS have started to crowd Cagayan de Oro City's transport terminals and ports on April 12, Wednesday.

As early as 5:30 a.m., transport terminals and ports have been congested with people trying to make it in time for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

Regional Land Transportation Office (LTO-10) director Oscar Salcedo said both the city's terminals were crowded earlier than usual and the changing of bus units are fast.

"I was there in the morning 5:30 to 7 a.m. and the passengers were already starting to flock the terminals and the number has doubled compared to previous days," he said.

Passenger congestion is expected to continue until April 13. But he added it will be up to bus companies and jeepney operators or vans if they will travel on Friday.

Meantime, traffic in Opol town in the western part of Misamis Oriental, which has been a cause of massive traffic in the past days due to a destroyed bridge, has been "controlled" by the LTO.

"Actually yung sa Opol meron na tayong nakikitang konting movement kasi pinabilis talaga ng contractor na matapos yun hopefully within the month. Lesser na ang traffic kasi mayroon na kaming nakitang mga paraan para bumilis ang travel," (We are seeing a movement already because the contractor promised to complete it this month. Traffic is lesser since we were able to find ways to hasten traffic) he said.

While most terminal destinations in Bulua and Agora terminals are now accommodating many passengers, Salcedo said routes going to or passing along Bukidnon and Iligan have the most volume of passengers.

Meanwhile, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB-10) regional director Aminoden Guro said their personnel have started monitoring passengers and terminals since people started their Holy Week home-bound travels.

Guro said they are monitoring the passenger fare whether it has fluctuated due to the holidays.

They have also inspected buses whether these are in full condition and have checked lights, brakes, engines and even mirrors.

They have so far disqualified one bus unit to travel because one of its rear lights is not functioning properly.

Guro also called on the public for vigilance against erring drivers and colorum vehicles.

He said because of the influx of commuters 'colorum' vehicles or unregistered vehicles, will seize the opportunity to get passengers.

Guro said commuters will not be able to claim anything if he or she encounters an accident if a public vehicle is not registered.

LTFRB has already set up hotline numbers in every terminal for people to contact in case of any problems.

On the other hand, Cebu and Bohol destinations have the most number of passengers in the Cagayan de Oro port according to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA)-Cagayan de Oro.

Maria Chona Fabia of the PPA administration assigned to monitor the events in the Holy Week travel of passengers said that while people are not really crowding the port, the number of people still have increased from the usual.

"That is why we are reminding people to be careful when they travel especially about sa kanilang mga tickets and baggage. Sana they travel light and that they buy their tickets ahead of time," Fabia said.

She added that multiple security measures are being conducted at the entrance gate of the port as well as before the passengers board for good measure. PPA is expecting a large volume of passengers starting today until Monday next week.

The PPA and the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) for the past few days inspected the seaworthiness of the ports' ships and its crew to avoid any untoward accidents in the travel.
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