The Land Transportation Franchising Office and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) at the moment will not issue a franchise to the Southern Star Bus Transit, Inc. which would allow the bus line to operate in Panglao according to one of the agency’s regional officials.
Even if the bus company will be able to secure a franchise from the LTFRB, it will still not be allowed to conduct operations in Panglao as an application for a new route from the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) is also needed, LTFRB 7 Assistant Regional Director Rey Elnar said.
The municipal administrator of Panglao had spoken to Elnar asking to allow Southern Star to operate in the town, but the LTFRB official advised instead that the bus company needs to file the said application at the DOTC.
Elnar clarified that the LTFRB which is under the DOTC will issue the franchise allowing Ceres buses to ply the Tagbilaran-Panglao route once the departmentÂ gives its approval.
The DOTC verifies first if there is a need for more transportation means in an area before it grants the said approval, he said.
Panglao officials had previously noted that more transportation options in the town are required as the number of commuters in the area continues to grow and the completion of the New Bohol Airport nears.
The Land Transportation Office had also advised the bus company to secure a franchise to legally resume its operations in Panglao before the LTFRB issued its statement regarding the need for the DOTCâ€™s approval.
Elnar said however that the process of applying for a new route often takes time particularly now that many transport groups are also filing their applications. (with reports from Allen Doydora)