BUS OPERATOR TRIES TO CLEAR ITS NAME

Froelich Tours claims ‘good governance policy’

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Froehlich Tours Inc. said it cleared its name on Sunday from allegations it had violated bus operators’ rules, claiming it practices “good corporate governance policy,” after its operations were suspended by the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

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The company said it operated 20 interim units for the P2P (point-to-point) routes on a Provisional Authority (PA) until November 25 last year. However, it said it did not anymore renew its PAs since all the 20 interim units were replaced by regular P2P units consisting of MAN, Ankai and Higer buses.

“We filed the application for the CPC [Certificate of Public Convenience] of 14 units by August 2016 and for additional units by November 2016. LTFRB did not issue a PA anymore for the units filed for the Certificate of Public Convenience application since the protocol stated that units under a CPC application are not a subject for a PA issuance,” the company said in a statement issued over the weekend.

Earlier, the LTFRB said it was mandatory for public transport companies to operate with PAs and CPCs.

The LTFRB also said that upon compliance by Froehlich with the requirements—such as the PAs, proof of payment validated by bank and 2015 income tax—it would immediately issue a CPC to the bus operator.

Froehlich explained that their “2015 tax records have been submitted electronically to LTFRB together with the 2015 tax clearance for bidding purposes. Currently, LTFRB is requesting a stamped and validated certificate (hard copy) from the bank on the 2015 tax payment.”

Last week, a video of the company’s Premium P2P bus operating without a plate number went viral online. The uploaded video prompted the LTFRB and Department of Transportation to investigate the matter. In the course of the investigation, LTFRB discovered the expired PA of the company.

The DoTr clarified that the suspension had “nothing to do with LTO [Land Transportation Office] registration.”
Froehlich, on the other hand, explained that all its P2P units have valid LTO registrations but LTO “has currently no plate numbers for release.”

The bus company said it would comply with all the government requirements on Monday, January 9, as it gives free rides on the same day, in order to be back to its normal operations by Tuesday, January 10.

“LTFRB and Froehlich Tours Inc continue to work over the weekend to resolve the current issue and to set parameters for the future to avoid this kind of issues to protect the public commuters from further inconveniences,” the bus company said.

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