ILOILO CITY — The Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) preventively suspended effective Monday 10 Ceres buses of the Vallacar Transit plying the Iloilo City (Molo Terminal) to Caticlan (Aklan) via San Jose (Antique) route and vice-versa following last week’s accident.
“It is automatic that once there is an accident regardless of who the owner is, we have to issue a preventive suspension to give way for an investigation. We have to find out number one what caused the accident. If we find out what caused the accident then maybe we can prevent it from happening again,” LTFRB Western Visayas Regional Director Richard Z. Osmeña said in a phone interview.
The suspension order was dated April 8, 2019 and will last not more than 30 days.
The investigation, separate from the investigation being conducted by the local Philippine National Police, will be done within the week, he said.
To recall the Ceres bus with plate number FWS-949 owned by the Vallacar Transit, fell into a ravine in Barangay Igbucagay, Hamtic, Antique at 9:45 pm last April 5.
Three passengers died while seven were injured, including the driver and the conductor.
The suspension of the biggest bus company plying the Iloilo to Antique route created a problem though, with the coming observance of the Holy Week when passenger influx is expected.
“I cannot lift (it. Unless the Central Office will tell me due to public demand, then that’s the only way I can lift it. The passengers who will be coming home for the Holy Week will be affected,” he said.
As option, he considered talking to other bus companies of giving them special permits so they could augment.
Meantime, he advised passengers plying via the Antique route not to take colorum vehicles because they have no insurance. In case something happens, the passengers will never get paid.
“We will make sure that not only the bus companies are compliant when it comes to road worthiness but we will make sure also that drivers are very well-versed on how to handle situations like this,” he said. Perla Lena /PNA – northboundasia.com