176 special permits issued to buses for Holy Week

Cebu South Bus Terminal
Cebu South Bus TerminalFile Photo

THE local franchising authority has issued 176 special permits to buses to traverse routes in Central Visayas to accommodate the influx of passengers who wish to visit their hometowns during the Holy Week celebration.

Reynaldo Elnar, transportation development officer of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Central Visayas (LTFRB 7), said that the validity of the special permit is until April 14, 2024.

Elnar said that the application for the special permit on holidays started last February and ended last March 18.

Based on the data he sent to SunStar Cebu on Wednesday, March 27, said that of the total special permits issued, five are for buses traversing in Bohol, while the rest are plying in Cebu.

No special permits were issued for buses in Negros Oriental and Siquijor.

Additionally, for Cebu, he added that the issuance of special permits will augment the public transportation needs in addition to the over 800 buses already serving in the province.

In a report last year, it was noted that there were a total of 820 public utility buses from various bus liners serving Cebuanos, with 455 traveling northbound and 365 traveling southbound

He added that since then, there are at least 10 additional buses that were given permits to operate, which are all northbound specifically travelling to Bantayan Island, and the towns of Daanbantayan and Tuburan.

The transport official also advised the passengers to travel early to avoid the influx of passengers in bus terminals during peak hours.

"They should travel early since there are special permits issued to allow extra buses to travel but of course we know that there will be a lot of passengers travelling this Holy Week," he said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

Holy Week, also known as Semana Santa, a significant religious observance in the Christian calendar that commemorates the final week of Jesus Christ’s life, his crucifixion, and his resurrection.

This year, the Catholic celebration began on March 24 and will end on Saturday, March 30.

Elnar also encouraged Cebuanos to emulate patience as it is already expected that there will be long queues of passengers in terminals catching the next bus ride available to their hometowns.

The North Bus Terminal is located in the North Reclamation Area located near SM City Cebu mall, while the South Bus Terminal is located along Natalio Bacalso Avenue near CityMall mall in Cebu City.

He also issued a stern warning to operators regarding the deployment of public utility vehicles without proper permits, commonly referred to as colorum vehicles.

LTFRB 7 emphasized the strict enforcement of vehicle apprehensions and penalties, citing potential fines of up to P1 million as stipulated in Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No. 2014-01.

According to the order, fines for violations vary, with buses facing a hefty penalty of P1 million, trucks and vans facing P200,000, sedans facing P120,000, jeepneys facing P50,000, and multicab vehicles facing P6,000. These fines aim to ensure compliance and accountability within the transportation sector.

Colorum buses will face a minimum three-month seizure in addition to other penalties, including the cancellation of their vehicle registration and certificate of public convenience.

Furthermore, all colorum vehicles will be seized for a minimum of three months, and their vehicle registration and entire certificate of public convenience will be revoked as further punitive measures. (KJF)


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