Amid Nueva Ecija shooting, LTFRB-7 reminds bus drivers to prioritize safety of passengers
CEBU CITY, Philippines —The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Central Visayas (LTFRB-7) reminded bus drivers to prioritize the safety of passengers amid the recent shooting inside a bus in Nueva Ecija.
Two passengers were shot dead inside a bus while in transit on November 15, 2023, in the town of Carranglan, Nueva Ecija.
Based on the reports, two unidentified assailants suddenly approached the still unnamed passengers seated in the front and shot them four times for “no apparent reason” before getting off the bus as seen in a video that had gone viral on social media.
With this, LTFRB-7 reminded the drivers to pick up passengers only at designated areas because passengers from those areas are screened.
Eduardo Montealto Jr., director of LTFRB-7, said Cebu Province has been reminding bus drivers to pick up passengers only at the terminal for safety reasons, and this recent shooting in Nueva Ecija just highlights the need to follow this order.
“Diha man gud sa terminal nato, diha man gud ang screening. Diha ma screen ang mga pasahero og unsa ilang mga dala,” Montealto said.
(In the terminal, passengers undergo screening. That’s where passengers are screened, including the things they bring.)
He added that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has been conducting seminars to transport operators, especially those buses owned by large firms.
“Ayaw mo’g pasakay didto sa gawas kay didto sa gawas man gud, dili na ninyo mahibaw-an og naa bay dalang mga armas ang mosakay ninyo, labi na inyong ruta kay point-to-point unya along the way magsak-sak mo og pasahero, di na moagi og terminal, mao nay pinaka delikado,” he said.
(Don’t pick up passengers from outside terminals because there, you won’t know if they’d bring firearms with them, especially if your route is point-to-point and along the way, you fill up with passengers who don’t go through the screening in the terminal. That’s the most dangerous thing to do.)
Safety in MPUJs
As to modern jeepneys, Montealto also advised conductors to monitor their passengers.
“Kung dunay mamatikdan nga medyo lahi og lihok o dunay gikuan sa dala-dala niya, [kinahanglan] abtik ta,” he said.
(If you notice that someone is behaving suspiciously, we shout be alert.)
Moreover, Montealto saw the situation as a new challenge that needed to be coordinated with security forces.
“Ang atong ge-focus ang mga terminal man gud kay diha man gyud sa terminal [magkuha og pasahero] pero kanang mga PUJ, dili man na mosud og terminal, mao na’y atong e[coordinate] sa PNP (Philippine National Police) og unsaon nato na siya pag address,” he said.
(We focus on the terminal because that’s weher passengers are screened. But PUJs, they don’t go to terminals, so that’s what we will coordinate with the PNP on how to address that problem.)
As of this writing, the LTFRB-7 has yet to discuss with the police regarding the safety of the passengers inside the public utility vehicles.
Montealto finally advised drivers to take note of police hotline numbers so they can call right away should a crime happen inside their vehicles. with reports from Inquirer.net
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