The validity of a Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) to operate a public utility bus (PUB) service plying the round trip Tagbilaran City – Panglao route is now the central issue blocking the entry of Southern Star Bus Transit, Inc.
Southern Star Administrative Manager Fritzi Labastida told DYRD “Inyong Alagad” on Thursday, June 16, 2016 that their franchise covers “anywhere and all points in the province of Bohol”.
But a digital copy of the CPC furnished by the bus company to DYRD Balita showed that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) authorized Southern Star to operate a PUB service covering Tagbilaran City-Loay-Loboc-Sierra Bullones-Trinidad-Talibon routes.
Signed by Reynaldo Elnar as Officer-in-charge of the LTFRB on February 15, 2016, the CPC is valid until April 5, 2021.
Labastida also said that a copy of the CPC was submitted to the Office of the Mayor of Panglao Leonila Montero but the Sangguniang Bayan was reluctant to endorse the bus company’s entry pending presentation of a copy of the CPC.
Starting last week, Southern Star fielded four units to serve the Tagbilaran City via Barangay Lourdes – Panglao and Tagbilaran City via Barangay Tawala.
Also, the Association of Drivers and Operators of Panglo Island, Inc., represented by it’s president, Nick Lerio filed a petition before the LTFRB expressing their objections to the entry of Southern Star as having “no legal basis”.
The association claimed that the bus company “have not secured a franchise to operate the said route, thus posing danger to the riding public”.
The petition was supported by it’s 84 members with 42 individual valid franchises asking the LTFRB to “prevent and disallow” Southern Star to operate the Round trip Tagbilaran City- Panglao route and “deny/reject” any franchise application to cover the said route by the bus company.
The Land Transportation Office, Tagbilaran City District Head, Erwin Patalinghug told “Inyong Alagad” that they are still awaiting a copy of Southern Star’s CPC for verification.
Labastida announced that the morning trips Tagbilaran City- Panglao will start at 6:15, 6:40, 7:00 and 7:20 while the Panglao to Tagbilaran 5:30, 6:15, 7:00, 7:40 and 8:00.
Afternoon trips to Panglao starts at 5:30, 6:15 and the evening sked is 7:00, 7:40 and 8:00. (Chito M. Visarra with reports from Rey Tutas)