‘Don’t provoke us,’ Moreno warns bus operators

Bea Cupin
Buses banned from Manila because they don't have in-city terminals threaten to forcibly ply their routes starting August 8. The city government isn't backing down.

TOO EXPENSIVE? Bus operators say the Park N' Ride Terminal in Manila is beyond their budget. Photo by Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine capital is dead serious about implementing its 2-week old bus scheme.

Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno said the city government would not flinch in the face of threats from allegedly 700 buses belonging to the Eastern Fairvew-Quiapo Bus Operations Association (EFQBOA) that they will defy Manila’s bus ban and forcibly ply their routes starting Thursday, August 8.

The city government will continue implementing the bus scheme despite the “antics” of bus operators. “Sana po ay hindi nila kami subukan,” Moreno said in a statement sent to Rappler. (I hope they don’t provoke us.)

According to a DZMM report, members of the EFQBOA, as well as bus franchises coming from Alabang, Las Piñas, and Cainta agreed that they would follow the routes stipulated in the franchises awarded to them by the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and that includes Manila.

“If they think they can bully the city government by doing this, then they are dead wrong,” Moreno added.

Manila has banned buses without terminals within the city. The city government has also discovered that many buses that ply Manila’s routes don’t have legitimate franchises – they just bear copies of legitimate franchises granted to other buses.

Bus operators complained about the high cost of acquiring a contract at the Park and Ride Terminal near Lawton in Manila.

STRIKE. Manila 'kuliglig' drivers plan to hold a strike on Thursday, August 8, over the city's plan to ban them from major streets and intersections. Photo by Rappler/Arcel Cometa

Manila ‘kuliglig’ strike

In the same statement, Moreno also called on “kuliglig” drivers and operators to abort a planned strike tomorrow over the city government’s plans to ban the “kuliglig” from the city’s major streets and intersections.

Masyado na hong maraming reklamo sa mga kapatid nating naghahanapbuhay because of their blatant traffic violations, not to mention the danger it imposes to its passengers because of the lack of necessary protection,” said Moreno.

Most “kuliglig” drivers did not poses driver’s licenses, while most of their vehicles were not registered with the LTFRB, Moreno added.

Plans to ban “kuliglig” vehicles from Manila’s streets is only the latest of many public transport reforms being implemented by the new city administration. In earlier interviews, Moreno said they will also introduce changes to other modes of transport such as trucks, FX services, jeepneys, and tricycles– Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.