Howls of protest greeted the suspension of bus trips by Southern Star Bus Transit, Inc. from Tagbilaran to Panglao and back this afternoon after copies of the Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) reached the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
Reports reaching DYRD Balita confirmed the stoppage even as Erwin Patalinghug, LTO, Tagbilaran District Head told DYRD Balita that copy of the CPO of Southern Star was received by his office.
“On the face of the document, there is no showing that the CPO includes an approved LTFRB bus route from Tagbilaran to Panglao. But I have to check with the LTFRB regional office”.
LTFRB Assistant Regional Director Reynaldo Elnar stressed when called by DYRD Balita that in the absence of a specific authority to ply a certain route, the public utility bus is considered out of line and can face sanctions.
No action regarding the trips was taken by the LTO even as the sudden suspension of the trips caught many commuters by surprise.
Transport dispatchers manning the Panglao jeep terminal in F. Rocha St. confirmed the cancellation of the trips but callers told DYRD Balita that there were still Southern Star buses plying the route to Panglao late in the afternoon.
Southern Bus management could not be reached for confirmation of the trip cancellation as office staff told DYRD that officials of the bus company were not in the office.
A pending petition protesting the entry of Southern Star buses to Panglao has been filed by Association of Drivers and Operators of Panglao Island, Inc, is awaiting resolution from the LTFRB. (Chito M. Visarra)