LTFRB allows 4,400 more PUJs, buses in NCR next week

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 8) — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board will open next week more public transportation routes in the capital region, with another 4,400 traditional jeepneys and provincial buses allowed to ply the roads.

This plan will push through even if the enhanced community quarantine imposed over the NCR Plus area gets extended beyond April 11, LTFRB Metro Manila regional director Zona Tamayo said Thursday.

“Kahit ECQ ngayon sa NCR Plus, hindi po na-suspend ang public transportation per IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) resolution, so patuloy po ang ating pagbibigay-serbisyo sa pampublikong sasakyan,” she said in a virtual media briefing.

[Translation: Even now that NCR Plus is under ECQ, public transportation hasn’t been suspended as per IATF resolution, so we’ll continue providing services through public transportation.]

However, she clarified that the entry of provincial buses to Metro Manila will still be subject to the approval of concerned local government units.

“Ang directive po natin for next week ay mag-open po nationwide ng 50% ng mga provincial buses papasok ng Metro Manila, pero ito po ay alinsunod sa sinasabi natin kanina na LGU approval,” she said.

[Translation: The directive for next week is to resume 50% operations of provincial buses going to Metro Manila, but this will still depend on the LGUs’ approval.]

Tamayo said the latest LTFRB data shows 76% of the public transportation units in the region pre-pandemic have now been allowed to resume operations. This includes jeepneys, buses, and public utility vehicles, she said.

Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal have been placed under one bubble setup until April 11, which means only authorized persons can do essential travel into and out of these areas. Essential travel between the provinces in the bubble is allowed.

The NCR Plus is also placed under a unified curfew scheme which runs from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., but workers, cargo vehicles and public transportation are not restricted.