MANDAUE CITY, Philippines – Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia will install cameras outside the South Bus Terminal to stop the practice of premium buses, minibuses and taxis picking up passengers outside the terminal.
The cameras, which were to be operational by Monday August 16, would have a central system linking them to the systems of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in the Central Visayas and the Land Transportation Bureau in the Central Visayas.
Garcia said that with the cameras running the entire length in front of the terminal, she could then complain directly to the relevant agencies if buses were caught loading passengers outside the terminal.
Garcia gave this warning when meeting with premium bus, minibus and taxi operators on Thursday, August 12.
She was taking these steps after finding that passengers were not using the southern bus terminal and instead took the buses outside the terminal.
While there are also photos showing buses loading passengers outside the north bus terminal, Garcia said the south terminal was the worst as many passengers were waiting outside the terminal.
“His South Bus is worse. Naa ra ni sa atbang ha sa south bus, di lang gyud mosud. Nagpundak [unya] deretso sakay. Daghan naa ra sa gawas unya sikohay. Sad pick-up-on man on the bus, ”she said.
(The South Bus is worse. It’s just the area in front of the South Bus. Why don’t they come in. They assemble and then quickly get on the buses. There are a lot of them outside and they give each other elbows when they get on the bus. This is also because the bus would take them.)
With the cameras slated to be operational on Monday, Garcia said they would then collate details of any erroneous buses and report them directly so that they immediately receive a temporary operator permit.
Buses must pass through the terminals
The governor pointed out that Executive Decree 35-B was clear with the new regulation requiring all buses on provincial roads to pass through either of the two terminals, not only to avoid overloading passengers, but also to ensure compliance with other health protocols.
READ: New regulation for PUVs in effect from August 6
“Kahibawo ta tanan catch gyud kaayo ni atong giatubang karon. Kanang gibuhat nila di lang trafficking has now become a health hazard, and yet you still don’t seem to be taking it seriously, ”Garcia told operators.
Police Lt. Col. Clark Arriola, head of public information at the Cebu City Police Bureau (CCPO), said that although buses are required to pass through the terminals, they could still pick up passengers in en route provided this is done at designated bus stops and passengers do not exceed the maximum permitted passenger capacity.
“So the other one is dili gyud magtapok ang mga tawo, dili magpunsisok. And dili ta mohunong did not to have any signage and not to stop… Naa man mo’y determined the bus stops, did not lang ta, ”said Arriola.
(So what we will be watching is that people would not congregate and form a crowd. And the buses would not stop at the no-stop zones. They determined bus stops so they should. stop there.)
On behalf of the Cebu City Police and Transportation Bureau (CCTO), Arriola said they had so far issued citation tickets to public utility vehicles (VPUs) who were caught in loading passengers outside the terminal and ignored the traffic sign.
Ordinance penalizing lost passengers
Cebu City Councilor James Cuenco also said they had already passed an ordinance penalizing passengers who insist on entering or boarding the bus even though it had reached maximum capacity, with a fine of P 1,000 and that they would also be detained for 12 hours.
Garcia, on the other hand, stressed that operators should discipline their drivers to comply with the new regulation, which she said would soon be passed into a provincial ordinance.
“Kay tan-awa ra gud ang itsura anang mamik-up. Katong nagdinaganay. Naa pa’y motor pwede ni makatraffic accident unya kay mag anad man kay kahibawo man sila na pick-up sila, ”she declared.
(Look at the faces of those who wanted to be picked up, those who ran for a ride. There’s even one with a motorbike and it could’ve caused a traffic accident and they don’t care because they know the bus would pick them up.)
“Pwede ba kamo man gyud ng operators gyud, pwede ba madisiplina and inyong mga drivers nga unta pagkadako na pod anang insulto uy nga naa ra gawas a terminal adto ramo ma-mick up? Dangerous, it is a danger for traffic, ”Garcia said, stressing that they should have closed their buses when exiting the terminals.
(Please have the operators discipline your drivers, because isn’t it a big insult to us that they pick up passengers outside the terminal? Dangerous. It is a traffic hazard.)
The governor, along with LTFRB-7 director Eduardo Montealto Jr. and LTO-7 director Victor Caindec, said the slightest sanction that would be awarded for such violations would be reckless driving.
But Caindec said passenger overloading, which is now more targeted, would be different from reckless driving, saying the two have separate penalties.
But Garcia said she was on the verge of issuing a new executive order that would define possible penalties for those violations.
She said it would be a considerable sum to prevent these misguided drivers from committing these offenses.
Derogation from the rule
Meanwhile, operators who have buses running on the metro and provincial roads that have received special permits from the LTFRB would not have to go through the bus terminals.
However, operators would have to obtain special tickets from the provincial government to exempt these operators from the regulation.
But Garcia stressed that these buses would still have to follow minimum health protocols.
Apart from that, the governor also clarified that only buses originally departing from the terminals would be issued with travel tickets, and those coming from the province should not be subject to the requirement.
Premium taxi operators have also agreed that their vehicle will pass through the terminals as of Saturday August 14, 2021. Here again, it is a matter of ensuring compliance with minimum health protocols.
Doing so would also prevent them from having their taxis impounded by the CCTO if they were caught parking illegally.
From police to bus operators: don’t make it difficult for us
Garcia plans to extend the requirement for buses to pass through terminals beyond August 15
Restrictions are also in place for Cebu City PUVs
New regulations for UVs in effect from August 6
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