After having gone through an extensive back-and-forth and numerous policy changes the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) memorandum requiring public utility buses (PUBs) to install Global Positioning System (GPS) devices has hit another snag.
Judge Marilou Runes-Tamang of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 98 has issued a 20-day temporary restraining order (TRO) on the Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2015-21 on the basis of a complaint filed by transport group Nagkakaisang Samahan ng mga Nangangasiwa ng Panlalawigang Bus sa Pilipinas (also known as the Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines, PBOAP).
The 41-member transport group reasoned that the memorandum was released without any research or study and that suggesting that the use of GPS devices on PUBs will curb speeding and reduce road accidents involving PUBs is ‘speculative’ at the least.
Alejandro Yague Jr., executive director of the transport group also said that the memo will reduce the number of PUBs on the road since units without GPS devices will be prevented from plying their route.
The transport group criticized LTFRB’s assumption that it will curb speeding since the GPS device can only track the PUB’s location while also questioning the agency’s ability to gather and handle all the data from the GPS device because of the country’s spotty internet connection.
For reference, LTFRB’s memo Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2015-21 cites a study by University of the Philippines-National Center for Transportation Studies that indicated how speed regulation may reduce the amount of road accidents in the country.
The LTFRB is set to file a motion for reconsideration.
“If drivers believe they are being monitored, they tend to drive more carefully. GPS tracking will also enable both the LTFRB and the Department of Transportation and Communications to monitor the supply and availability of public transport in order to make better transport planning decisions,” said LTFRB Chair Winston Ginez.