Cameras to be set up to catch buses picking up passengers outside South Bus Terminal – Gwen
MANDAUE CITY, Philippines — Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia will set up cameras outside the South Bus Terminal to stop the practice of buses, mini-buses and premium taxis picking up passengers outside the terminal.
The cameras which were expected to be operational by Monday, August 16, would have a central system linking them to the systems of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Central Visayas and the Land Transportation Office in Central Visayas.
Garcia said with the cameras covering the entire length in front of the terminal, she could then directly complain to the concerned agencies should there be buses caught loading passengers outside the terminal.
Garcia gave this warning during the meeting with operators of buses, mini-buses and premium taxis on Thursday, August 12.
She was taking these actions after seeing that passengers were not using the South Bus Terminal and were instead riding the buses outside the terminal.
Though there were also photos showing buses loading passengers outside the North bus terminal, Garcia said the terminal at the south was the worse as a lot of passengers were waiting outside the terminal.
“Sa South Bus is worse. Naa ra ni sa atbang ha sa south bus, di lang gyud mosud. Nagpundok [unya] deretso sakay. Daghan naa ra sa gawas unya sikohay. Pick-upon man sad sa bus,” she said.
(The South Bus is worse. It is just the area in front of the South Bus. Why won’t they just enter. They gather and then quickly board the buses. There are a lot of them outside and they elbow each other when they enter the bus. This is also because the bus would pick them up.)
With the cameras expected to be operational on Monday, Garcia said they would then gather details of the erring buses and report them directly so that they would be issued temporary operator’s permit immediately.
Buses required to pass through terminals
The governor emphasized that Executive Order 35-B was clear with the new regulation requiring all buses plying provincial routes to pass through either in both terminals not just to prevent overloading of passengers but also to ensure the compliance of other health protocols.
“Kahibawo ta tanan grabe gyud kaayo ni atong giatubang karon. Kanang gibuhat nila di lang traffic, it has now become a health hazard, and yet you still do not seem to take it seriously,” Garcia told operators.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Clark Arriola, public information of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), said that although buses would be required to pass through terminals, they could still pick up passengers along the way provided that these would be done at designated bus stops and that the passengers would not exceed the allowable maximum passenger capacity.
“So ang atoa lang gyung bantayan ana is dili gyud magtapok ang mga tawo, dili magpunsisok. And dili ta mohunong didto sa naay mga signages nga no stopping… Naa man mo’y mga determined nga bus stops, didto lang ta,” said Arriola.
(So what we will monitor is that the people would not gather and form a crowd. And the buses would not stop at No stopping areas. They have determined bus stops so they should stop there.)
For the part of the police and Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO), Arriola said they had so far issued citation tickets to the public utility vehicles (PUVs) which were caught loading passengers outside the terminal and disregarded the traffic sign.
Ordinance penalizing erring passengers
Cebu City Councilor James Cuenco also said that they already passed an ordinance penalizing the passengers who insist on going inside or riding the bus even if it had reached the capacity, with P1,000 penalty and they would also be detained for 12 hours.
Garcia, on the other hand, stressed that operators should discipline their drivers to adhere to the new regulation, of which she said would be adopted into a provincial ordinance soon.
“Kay tan-awa ra gud ang itsura anang mamik-up. Katong nagdinaganay. Naa pa’y motor pwede ni makatraffic accident unya kay mag anad man kay kahibawo man sila na pickupon sila,” she said.
(Look at the faces of those who wanted to be picked up, the ones who ran to get a ride. There is even one with a motorcycle and he could have caused a traffic accident and they don’t care because they know that the buses would pick them up.)
“Pwede ba kamo man gyud ng operators gyud, pwede ba madisiplina ang inyong mga drivers nga unta pagkadako na pod anang insulto uy nga naa ra gawas sa terminal adto ramo ma-mick up? Hazardous, its a traffic hazard,” said Garcia, stressing that they should have closed their buses when exiting the terminals.
(Please operators discipline your drivers, because isn’t it a big insult to us that they will pick up passengers outside the terminal? Hazardous. It is a traffic hazard.)
The governor, along with LTFRB-7 Director Eduardo Montealto Jr. and LTO-7 Director Victor Caindec said that the least penalty that would be attributed to the said violations will be reckless driving.
But Caindec said overloading of passengers, which is now more focused, would be different from reckless driving, saying that these two had separate penalties.
But Garcia said that she was set to issue a new executive order that would lay down the possible penalties of these violations.
She said that it would be a hefty sum to stop these erring drivers from doing these violations.
Exemption to the rule
Meanwhile, operators who have buses plying in the Metro and the provincial routes that were issued special permits by the LTFRB would not have to pass through the bus terminals.
However, the operators would need to secure special tickets from the provincial government for these operators to be exempted from the regulation.
But Garcia emphasized that these buses would still have to follow the minimum health protocols.
Aside from that, the governor also clarified that only those buses originally departing from the terminals would be issued with trip tickets, and that those that would be coming from the province should not be subjected to the requirement.
Premium taxi operators also agreed that their vehicle would pass through the terminals starting on Saturday, August 14, 2021. Again, this is to ensure the compliance of minimum health protocols.
By doing so, this would also prevent them from having their taxis to be impounded by the CCTO should they be caught parking illegally.
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