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ILOILO City – Drivers and operators of public utility vehicles plying Iloilo City to the airports of Iloilo, Roxas, and Aklan were infuriated as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) implemented the point-to-point (P2P) program. Under this set-up, large private bus companies such as Vallacar and Southwest would be compelled to pick up passengers from the transport hub located in Megaworld Iloilo in the district of Mandurriao.

According to Edgar Salarda, president of PISTON – Panay, the Memorandum Circular #2019 – 010 issued by the LTFRB Central Office, provided the franchise of newly released bus units. Salarda stated that this is too unfair since they will not be able to avail of the new franchise due to the jeepney phaseout.

In a statement released by the Western Visayas Transport Coalition (WVTC), “this is an outright attack on the small-time operators and drivers of city-loop and provincial jeepneys, vans, and taxi cabs that transport passengers directly to the Iloilo Airport and to other provinces as well.”

Since the trips of the mentioned private bus companies are not monitored, it is still possible for P2P buses to pick up passengers along the road, the coalition said.

The coalition also denounced the passing of the Iloilo City Regulation Ordinance 2019-110 which permits the construction of the transport hub in the Iloilo Business Park in the city. “This is an evident violation of the comprehensive perimeter boundary ordinance which restricts buses to go inside the city proper to prevent traffic congestion in the urban center,” stressed the coalition.

In addition, the transport groups mentioned that through this ordinance, there is a greater possibility that other malls in the city would build their own transport hubs too.

The WCTC petitioned the said ordinance and demanded to discontinue the transport operations of P2P buses./www.panaytoday.net

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