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LTFRB suspends bus operator in fatal EDSA accident

MANILA, Philippines – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has suspended all 18 units of bus operator MGP Trans after one of its buses figured in a fatal road accident in EDSA Magallanes on Nov 14, 2013.

Investigations showed that the bus was operating without a valid permit, LTFRB chairman Atty Winston Ginez said on Thursday, January 9.

The accident that happened around 6:40 am on November 14 also involved an Elena Liner Bus, which rear-ended the MGP bus. The latter rammed into a bus stop along the southbound lane of Magallanes in Makati City.

Five people were killed and 30 others were injured that day.

The board also learned the MGP bus, with plate number NVX 360, was a phased-out model 1991 unit last confirmed in 2012.

Sa isang masusing pag-iimbestiga na isinagawa ng aming tanggapan, napag-alaman namin na ang MGP bus na binangga ng Elena Bus ay phased out na unit na at di na dapat pa ipinapasada sa ating mga lansangan,” said.

(After our investigation, we learned that the MGP bus that was hit by the Elena bus is a phased-out unit that should not have been plying our roads anymore.)

Records from the Philippine Accident Managers Incorporated (PAMI) also showed the unit was last insured in 2012, and its passenger accident liability insurance coverage was not renewed in 2013.

PAMI is a management company of an accredited insurance group under LTFRB's passenger accident program.

“This is a clear violation of our anti-colorum campaign. We will make sure that MGP Trans is meted with the penalty as prescribed by the board and the government.... No one is above the law and we will ensure violators are indicted and penalized,” Ginez said.

Because of the “serious violation” of its Certificate for Public Conveyance (CPC) permit, the operator is now facing either cancellation or revocation of its bus franchise, he said.

A team will confiscate the licenses of the suspended units on Saturday, January 11. Ten days later, a public hearing will take place where MGP Trans will be given a chance to defend itself as to why its CPC permit should not be suspended, cancelled, and revoked.

Hindi papalagpasin ng board ang paglabag na ginawa ng MGP Trans na nagresulta ng pagkasawi ng buhay at pagkasugat ng maraming pasahero,” Ginez said. “Panahon na para gamitan ng ‘kamay na bakal’ ang mga sumusuway sa regulasyon at alituntunin ng board para ipakita sa mga PUB operators na seryoso po kami sa pagpapatupad ng aming patakaran.

(The board will not let slide the violation of MGP Trans that resulted in the death and injury of its passengers.... It is time to use an iron fist on violators of the board's rules and regulations to show PUB operators that we are serious in implementing our rules.) – Jee Y. Geronimo/Rappler.com