The 14th Division of the Court of Appeals yesterday confirmed the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board's (LTFRB) two-year old memo regarding the phaseout of public utility buses (PUBs) - including mini-buses and shuttle service vehicles - that are at least 15 years old.
For strict compliance, LTFRB Resolution No. 2013-01 was approved by the Board in January 11, 2013 in effect putting an age limit of 15 years from date of manufacture on public utility buses, mini-buses and shuttle services and disallowing the practice of granting a Certificate of Public Convenience based on road worthiness and Motor Vehicle Inspection System Certificates.
This is all in support of the Department of Transportation and Communication's (DOTC) Department Order No. 96-963 which entails the "Modernization of Public Transport Services."
"Since I took the chairmanship of the board two years ago, my marching order was to find ways to modernize our transport system to make it safer for the commuters and at par with our neighboring Asian countries," said LTFRB Chairman Wiston Ginez.
The petition filed by various transport groups and individuals, including the National Confederation of Transport Workers Inc, and the Samahan ng mga Operator, Tsuper at Konduktor ng mga Minibus sa Hilagang Katagalugan Inc. was declined by the Court of Appeals 14th Division with the decision penned by Associate Justice Maria Elisa Sempi Diy.
It states that "The court perceives no compelling reason for the issuance of a TRO, much less, for a writ of preliminary injunction. There is no showing that petitioners-associations will stand to suffer grave and irreparable injury or that they have a clear legal right which ought to be protected."
The LTFRB praised the decision of the Court of Appeals and have stopped issuing extensions to Certificates of Public Convenience to non-compliant bus companies.
"We hail the decision of CA to uphold the phaseout order, thereby allowing us to pursue our modernization campaign to provide the public a reliable, safe and convenient transport system. Since I took the chairmanship of the board two years ago, my marching order was to find ways to modernize our transport system to make it safer for the commuters and at par with our neighboring Asian countries," said Ginez.