THE head of the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal said on Monday, May 23, that the recently concluded 2022 national and local elections is the first time DCOTT saw a huge influx of passengers during an election season.

DCOTT head Aisa Usop told SunStar Davao they recorded around 1,300 to 1,500 bus trips per day bound to different parts of Mindanao and Visayas during the pre-election weekend on May 6 to 8, 2022.

“First time in history na grabe ang influx sa atong mga pasahero (that we had a huge influx of passengers). Tanaw nako nasobraan pa niya ang December peak nato pre-pandemic (I think it was even more compared to the pre-pandemic December peak) ... First time na ganon karami ang mga tao na umuwi (It’s the first time we had that many passengers) during the election,” Usop said during an interview.

According to DCOTT’s data, the influx of passengers started on May 6 but by election day, May 9, there were little to none passengers waiting for their bus trips.

Usop said most bus trips were bound to Cagayan de Oro and other north-bound areas, including Butuan, Tagum, Surigao, Leyte and Tacloban in Visayas; and south-bound areas such as South Cotabato, Kidapawan, General Santos, and Marvel.

However, after the elections concluded, Usop said the inbound arrivals increased from May 10 to 15, suggesting that most people were coming back to Davao City after they had cast their votes. Thus, most of the outbound passengers a few days before were election-related travel.

At the same time, the DCOTT head said peace and order were maintained during this time since DCOTT had additional security reinforcements from the Davao City Police Office, Task Force Davao, and other security elements.

There were no petty crimes reported despite the huge influx of passengers.

“We are very happy because no reported na nawad-an og pitaka, or cellphone despite sa kadaghan sa atong pasahero (We’re happy that no one reported missing wallets or cellphones despite the number of people at the terminal),” Usop said.

Usop said that as of the latest, DCOTT is still consolidating reports as to the income collected during the said election period and will be finalized at the end of the month.