Press Release
October 30, 2011


Senate Committee on Public Services Chairman Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr. today urged all concerned agencies to ensure the safety of travelers this coming All Saints' Day by maintaining the worthiness of all public land, air and sea transport.

The senator particularly warned against overloading of buses and sea vessels which are the common causes of travel-related accidents in the country. He said sanction must be given to transportation companies that shall be found guilty of taking advantage of the expected huge crowd of passengers during the long weekend.

"If necessary, we will push for the cancellation of franchises of authorized public transportation companies that will be proven guilty of franchise violations. We are appealing to the public to cooperate with the government against overloading. We don't need rolling coffins, floating coffins, and flying coffins this Halloween," he said.

He called on the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and its attached agencies, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to must make sure that all its security preparations will be fully carried out. "The expected further rise of public transport demand should not be addressed to the extent of ignoring at the moment illegal PUVs, overloading sea vessels, disordered airport procedures and other travel hassles," the lawmaker said.

Bong Revilla lauded the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for intensifying its campaign against colorum buses. Based on news reports, LTFRB added security features on the special permits it grants to bus operators. The special permits, which allow buses to ply routes outside their regular routes from October 30 to November 6, are issued to address the All Saints' Day exodus. "The additional security features on the special permit is to block the operation of colorum buses. This will prevent them from using fake permits. The issuance of special permits is also one way of addressing the overloading of buses," he pointed out.

The lawmaker further warned that maritime accidents brought by overloaded boats are common in our country where the only means of cheap inter-island transport is by boats and other sea vessels. "We must not be stubborn. If we want to save lives, we must learn from the past. We must strengthen our security measures in seaports not only to avoid crimes but also prevent sea tragedies. It would be better if security measures will focus primarily against overloading, not just on help desks and security personnel visibility," he added.

On air travel, Revilla demanded the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to make sure that all airplanes, whether private or commuter aircraft, are safe to fly before leaving the airport.

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