Land Transportation Office (LTO) Tagbilaran Registrar Erwin Patalinghug pushed for the establishment of an Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) office in Bohol to serve the growing needs of the fast growing land transportation industry in the province.
Patalinghug who has been at the butt of complaints that is totally not related to his office but falls under the jurisdiction of the LTFRB expressed concern over unattended problems related to delayed actions on applications for certificates of public convenience.
With the spate of vehicular accidents involving bus companies in the province, Patalinghug lamented the lack of authorized LTFRB personnel to conduct investigations and hearings of complaints for violation of the public service laws.
The absence of an LTFRB office in Bohol discouraged victims involved in accidents to file their complaints despite the existence of so-called hot line LTFRB cell phone nos.
The LTFRB admitted that they are clueless on the number of bus accidents in Bohol due to the absence of accident reports.
Patalinghug said that he only learned that the LTFRB issued a suspension order dated March 22, 2016 against one bus unit of Southern Star that figured in an accident only on April 7, 2016.
Patalinghug told DYRD Balita that the LTO has to conduct the investigation and submit an accident report to the LTFRB Regional Office resulting to additional workload on the part of the local LTO.
Southern Star buses were involved in several accidents that claimed the lives of 5 persons and injuries to their passengers that prompted an investigation by the Sanggunniang Panlalawigan of Bohol.
Public clamor for the setting up of an LTFRB office in Bohol has reached the regional LTFRB office after the monthly hearing for the application of transportation franchises was stopped for unknown reasons.
Even the determination and approval for the adjustment of fares, rates and related charges of public land transportation vehicles needs to be processed in Cebu City including the renewal of franchise permits. (Chito M. Visarra)