Press Release
October 26, 2010


SENATOR Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. today called on the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Philippine Coast Guard to put up assistance units in provincial bus terminals and key ports to ensure the safety and comfortable travel of passengers, who will observe All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day in their hometown.

The senator also directed the LTO to furnish the public the list of provincial bus lines which were issued special permits to operate during the "Undas" season.

"Passengers should properly be informed of which bus lines have permits to ferry them from Metro Manila to their provinces. This will protect them from colorum buses," he said.

During holidays, the demand for public transportation increases. Bong Revilla noted that during this season, unscrupulous bus operators take advantage of the influx of passengers by picking them up and ply outside their routes without special permits.

"Uninformed passengers may opt to ride buses, which do not have special permits. They are unconsciously risking their safety," he said.

The senator lauded the LTO for undertaking inspections of utility vehicles' road worthiness to ensure safety. He said the LTO should augment its personnel not just for inspection but for providing assistance to travelers.

In discouraging the passengers to ride colorum buses, the senator reminded the public that vehicles without special permits and franchises have no insurance for its passengers.

He said the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) had been requiring bus owners and operators to secure insurance for passengers before granting them special permits.

On the other hand, the senator urged the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to increase their personnel to man major seaports - Manila , Batangas, Cebu, Zamboanga, Davao , General Santos and Iloilo .

Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) records showed that ships' occupancy rates reached to 100 percent during holidays.

"The spillover of passengers is very tempting to ship owners and operators to overload. However, we rely on the PCG and PPA to do its part to implement strict security measures," the senator said.

The senator said the ship owners and operators should strictly follow the standard operation procedure (SOP) of submitting their manifests of passengers an hour before departure. He said it will give PCG personnel time to inspect the ship if it is not violating any rules, particularly overloading.

According to the PCG, one of the causes of sea mishaps is overloading or allowing more passengers to board a vessel which is beyond its capacity.

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