MANILA — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is aggressively pushing for the modernization of the country’s land transportation sector, including key cities in the Visayas region.
LTFRB chairman Atty. Winston Ginez was in Cebu early this week to announce the Board’s decision to grant a provisional Php0.50 in public utility vehicle (PUV) fare from Php7.50 to Php7.00 in Central Visayas due to the series of oil price cut in the world market.
“Sa aming pagdinig sa petisyon ng mga stakeholders sa Central Visayas, nagdesisyon ang Board na magpatupad ng provisional na pagbawas sa minimum fare ng mga pampasaherong jeepney sa Region 7,” Ginez said. “Dapat maramdaman din ng ating mananakay sa Kabisayaan ang epekto ng patuloy na pagbaba ng presyo ng krudo.”
The minimum fare reduction only covers the first 4 kilometers, with the fare rate for succeeding kilometer remained the same.
Modernizing Cebu’s transport system
While in Cebu, Ginez also inspected the proposed route of the 23-km Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route, an alternative transport mode in Cebu to reduce the riding public’s dependence on passenger jeepneys and give more road space to private vehicles.
Close 200 BRT units will be plying Cebu once the project becomes operational in 2017. The proposed BRT route will use the center island of Osmeña Boulevard for dedicated bus lanes and passenger terminals.
Ginez said the Board will be issuing an order to their regional office to hold a dialogue with transport groups and drivers on the BRT project.
“Isang malaking proyekto ang BRT na magkakaron ng significant na impact sa mga mananakay sa Cebu kaya kailangan nating mapakinggan ang opinion ng iba’t ibang sector para maging smooth ang implementation ng programa,” Ginez said.
A workshop and dialogue was also held among stakeholders on the BRT project.
Detailed engineering studies for the Php10.6 billion BRT project are expected to start early this year and will take eight months to complete.
Ginez also met with executives of SM Group in Cebu to discuss the possible deployment of modern and high-quality buses from Talisay City Hall to Mactan-Cebu International airport.
The LTFRB’s Central Office and 13 Regional Offices will also be modernized through the technical assistance of a professional IT consultant group. A feasibility study of LTFRB’s business processes and franchising system in the entire country will be undertaken by the same IT consultant. After the Feasibility Study is approved, DOTC-LTFRB will bid out this under the government’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) Project.
Beefing up security for Pope’s visit
The Board, according to Ginez, is also playing a key role in beefing up security in bus and other public utility terminals in preparation for the arrival of Pope Francis.
In line with the directive of Department of Transportation and Communications’ (DOTC) secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, LTFRB has been tasked to beef up security checks on all bus and PUV terminals.