MANILA — As more passengers are expected to flock to Baguio City to attend the anticipated Panagbenga Festival this month, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is set to grant public utility buses (PUBs) with special permits to meet passenger demand.

In a resolution, the Board said that PUBs must file their application at least seven days prior to the start of the duration of the special permit which will be valid from February 26-29 only.

The highlight of the 21st edition of the Panagbenga Festival will be the staging of the Grand Street Dance Parade and Grand Float Parade slated on Feb. 27 and Feb. 28, respectively.

Special permits will only be given to applicants who comply with the board’s requirements, including safety rules, the Board said.

The Board further said that if the proposed route will originate or enter Metro Manila, the application will be filed at the Central Office and decided by the Board.

It also urged bus drivers and operators to return to their respective routes upon the expiration of the special permits.

LTFRB board member Atty. Ariel Inton meanwhile expressed support for the festival.

“In order to support local tourism in consideration of the safety and comfort of the riding public, we, the LTFRB, fully support the 21st Panagbenga Festival of the City of Baguio,” Inton said.

“Since summer season is fast approaching, local government may seek also assistance from LTFRB, in order to provide safe, convenient and adequate public transportation in requesting special permit for buses to ferry passengers and tourists during festivities,” he added.

Meanwhile, Inton reiterated that the Board will decide based on the merit of PUB operators’ applications. PNA/