THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) yesterday announced that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) prohibits public utility buses (PUBs) from being plastered with political campaign materials.
Speaking before the regular meeting of the Cebu Provincial Bus Operators Association (CPBOA) at Sacred Heart Center, LTFRB 7 Director Ahmed Cuizon said bus operators will be penalized by the Comelec if they allow candidates to place stickers, posters or any form of campaign materials in their units.
However, Cuizon said they can hang streamers or other campaign materials on buses that are hired to ferry supporters of candidates during political rallies.
But the campaign materials must be removed from the buses immediately after the rally, Cuizon said.
Cuizon said LTFRB requires operators or drivers to secure permit to operate outside their routes if hired to ferry supporters during political rallies. Each special permit costs P130.
If operators will violate this policy, they will be fined P6,000 per violation.
“This is one of the political reforms instituted by the Comelec in the coming elections,” Cuizon said.
A bus operator complained that in the past elections, a mayor of a town will not allow their buses to use the terminal in the town if they will not allow the stickers of their favored candidates to be pasted on their units.
“This time, you will have an excuse by telling all candidates that this is not allowed by the LTFRB and the Comelec, Cuizon said.
For her part, Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale who was present during the meeting, assured the bus operators that nobody will pressure them to place campaign stickers on their units before they enter Cebu South Bus Terminal.
Meanwhile, Cuizon said there’s a need to have more ferryboats commuting between the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Cebu.
He said Atty. Augusto Go, the owner of Metro Ferry Corp. said he will add at least
three more ferry boats to ply the route.
Cuizon said LTFRB Resolution 2013-0001 was taken up during their 1st Management Conference in Batangas last month.
The resolution implements the memorandum circular of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) setting a 15-year age limit of buses.
He said they discussed the position of bus operators that if the resolution will be implemented, there may be crisis in bus transportation in the future.