Thursday, November 10, 2011

MMDA orders enforcers to apprehend buses in 2010 strike

While the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has given them a 15-day grace period, bus firms sanctioned for taking part in last year's bus strike may not be so lucky with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
On Thursday afternoon, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino ordered enforcers led by Traffic Discipline Office head Yves Gonzalez to flag down buses of the sanctioned firms.
"Chairman Tolentino has given Traffic Discipline Office the go signal. We will enforce their bus franchise revocation/suspension order," Gonzalez said in an entry on his Twitter account Thursday afternoon.
Gonzalez said enforcers will initially focus on Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) and Commonwealth Avenue "since these are the routes of the suspended buses."
Earlier, Tolentino said they will immediately start apprehending buses covered by the sanctions.
This was in contrast to the directive of the LTFRB with its head, Jaime Jacob, saying his agency is giving the bus firms a 15-day grace period to file a motion for reconsideration.
Jacob said in an earlier interview the bus firms may appeal the suspension and cancellation of their franchises with the Transportation Department or the courts.
"We won't wait for them to file appeals. If we apprehend the sanctioned buses, they have the burden of proof to show they had appealed their sanctions," Tolentino said.
On Wednesday, the LTFRB affirmed sanctions on some 29 bus firms, canceling the franchises of two and suspending those of the other 27.
Canceled were the franchises of Philippine Corinthian Liner Inc. and Jell Transport, Inc., Jacob said.
The bus firms were found to have participated in a strike last year to oppose the number-coding scheme for public utility buses (PUBs)

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