ZAMBOANGA CITY BUS DEPOT IN POOR CONDITION

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The Zamboanga City bus depot, one of the main bus terminals in Mindanao, was deemed to be in poor condition by a team sent by the Department of Transportation and Communications. PHOTO BY Al JACINTO

ZAMBOANGA CITY: A team from the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has inspected the Zamboanga City bus terminal and was shocked to see the poor condition of the depot in one of the highly urbanized city in Mindanao.

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The team raised concerns over the safety of travelers in the bus depot because of insufficient security measures. Dilapidated stalls and ambulant sellers dotted the terminal, which is located in the village of Guiwan.

Soldiers and police personnel also share a small tent that serves as an outpost outside the bus depot, which is being rented by Rural Transit Mindanao and other provincial bus liners whose routes include provinces in western and northern Mindanao and the cities of Bacolod and Dumaguete in the Visayas.

DOTC inspectors also spoke to supervisors of the bus firms and interviewed them about the current security situation and the condition of the depot.

They also noticed the dilapidated structures and muddy compound of the bus terminal. However, the owner of the depot has not taken any action to improve the area.

Zamboanga had sought to put up its own integrated bus terminal and had held a public bidding for the project. However, one contractor who won the bidding was disqualified and subsequently filed charges against the local government, which prompted a court to stop the implementation of the said project.

Rural Transmit Mindanao has previously sought to transfer to its own bus terminal in the village of Divisoria, but the local government had disapproved the move for a still unknown reason.

Zamboanga City has been left behind by many smaller cities and towns, which had built their own bus depots even with meager local revenues and internal revenue allotments compared to the city, which has over P3 billion in savings in banks.

Zamboanga City is consistently placed among the seven biggest recipient cities of internal revenue allocations along with Davao City, General Santos City, Cagayan de Oro City, Quezon City, Manila, Puerto Princesa, and Cebu City.

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