LTFRB chief accused of favoring bus company

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Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Winston Ginez was accused of favoring a bus operator by allowing it to operate its units from Cubao, Quezon City despite its failure to comply with the documentary requirements.

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LTRFB Board Member Ariel Inton claimed that Ginez approved all applications for route modification of Pangasinan Solid North Inc. even if the bus company was not a prior operator and did not have business permits, terminals and garages in the modified routes.

Inton, during the LTFRB’s briefing on the Public Transport Rationalization Plan before the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, said he objected to the release of the Solid North decision because Ginez misled him into signing the draft decision with the assurance that it will be subjected to further deliberations. He said Ginez released the decision without the approval of the two LTFRB members.

Ginez was also accused of extending Solid North’s franchise routes in Metro Manila even without the required Route Measured Capacity study. This decision reversed the earlier ruling of former LTFRB chief Jaime Jacob which reverted the company’s franchise routes to their original provincial end points.

Other bus operators also questioned solid North’s extended franchise but the issue has yet to be resolved.

Rep. Winston ‘Winnie’ Castelo, chairman of MMD committee, called for the formation of a technical working group that will review the franchises issued by the LTFRB as well as the rationalization program of the agency.

Meanwhile, RJ Abelllana, president of the United Filipino Commuters, slammed the LTFRB for aggravating the traffic woes in Metro Manila.

“Somebody has to be answerable to these problems. The LTFRB chairman has to leave hihis post,” Abellana said.

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