Revilla calls on LTO, PCG to ensure safety of passengers during “Undas”


SENATE OFFICE, Manila, October 27, 2010-Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr., chair of the committee of public works and public service, requested the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to ensure the public safety of all passengers who will observe the All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (Undas) celebrations in their places.


He directed the two agencies to put up assistance units in the provincial bus terminals and key ports, adding that the LTO shall furnish the public list of provincial buses lines which will operate during the “Undas” season.


He said that it is important to inform all passengers to board only buses which have franchises to transport them from Metro Manila to their provinces in order to protect them from colorum buses.


The senator explained that during this season the demand for public transportation increases and it is expected that unscrupulous bus operators will take advantage of the influx of passengers by picking them up and ply outside their routes without special permits.


"Passengers should be informed that riding on illegal transport vehicles are risking their safety,” he explained, adding that the LTO should conduct inspections of utility vehicles' road worthiness to ensure their safety and should augment its personnel not just for inspection but for providing assistance to travelers.


Sen. Revilla reminded the public that vehicles without special permits and franchises have no insurance for its passengers, saying that the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) had been requiring bus owners and operators to secure insurance for passengers before granting them special permits.


He also urged the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to increase their personnel to man major seaports inManila ,Batangas, Cebu, Zamboanga, Davao , General Santos and Iloilo .



Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) records showed that ships' occupancy rates reach to 100 percent during holidays.


“The spillover of passengers is very tempting to ship owners and operators to overload. However, we rely on the PCG and PPA to do their parts to implement strict security measures," he said.


The ship owners and operators should strictly follow the standard operation procedure (SOP) of submitting their manifests of passengers an hour before departure to give way PCG personnel time to inspect the ship.


The cause of sea mishaps according to PCG was a result of overloading or allowing bulk of passengers to board a vessel which is beyond its capacity. (Jason de Asis)