By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.
SORSOGON CITY (BicolToday.com/27-Sept-2012)– A month after the issuance of Executive Order No. 14-2012 which implemented a ninety- day dry run for traffic scheme relative to the transfer of jeepney, van and buses terminals in the city proper to Sorsogon Grand Terminal in Barangay Balogo, an amendment was issued by City Mayor Leovic Dioneda through EO 14-A.
The amended provision now in effect, which according to provincial bus line operators plying the Legazpi-Bulan route, is restraining trade.
They are referring to Section IV of EO No. 14 which was revised prohibiting buses from Legazpi City bound to Bulan or Matnog towns to load or pick-up passengers bound to their south end-point destinations at the newly opened terminal.
They questioned the premise of the EO which allegedly undergone consultation with all stakeholders for they were not consulted prior to the revision of the EO, they said. They formally received the copy of the EO from the City Planning and Development Office September 19.
The provincial bus lines, composed of Queens Express Inc, E&D Liner, Weena-Lyn and Don-don buses, which have valid franchise routes to Bulan town are crying foul to the provision. The jeepney groups which also petitioned cover the towns of Casiguran, Juban, Irosin, Bulan, Matnog and Sta. Magdalena.
The petitioners said that buses bound to Bulan from Legazpi City are enjoying advantages since they have passengers picked-up along the distance to their end-point destination, and loading waiting passengers at the terminal to Bulan town have deprived them of their legitimate stay at the terminal. Cases are that sitting passengers in the jeepney awaiting dispatch would hastily transfer to buses bound to Bulan after dropping off Sorsogon- bound passengers at the terminal.
Both have intentional neglect in their routes. Jeepneys cut trips per their approved franchise and buses dispatches are not all legitimate to their end-route destinations. This practice is prevalent among transport groups. Travelers found a jeepney ride a bit slow for along the routes they have pocket terminals, the buses can afford to by-pass town centers.
The bus dispatchers commented that they are not grabbing, nor they solicit passengers staying at the jeepney dispatching area. They said that it is the prerogative of the passengers to choose their safety and convenience in their mode of travel. The same comments from passengers bound south.
As of now buses bound to Bulan town drop-by at the terminal with their sign boards down, and passengers are pick-up outside of the terminal thus depriving revenues for the terminal.
The arrangement was through an agreement with Jay Odiña by the provincial bus dispatcher. Odiña is in-charge of the terminal operation.
Bus dispatchers said the EO 14-A has tied up the hands of the management of the terminal and favored the jeepney groups which initiated the petition. They added that they have to receive copy of the petition for comments of their respective management.
On the other hand, the terminal operation group aims to give equal benefits to its clients; the riding public, transport groups and stall holders. There were no comments from them on the effects of the amended EO. In future consultations with city planners, the issue will be tabled for refinement, they said.
Presently bus dispatchers are not preventing passengers to board their southbound buses, doing so they said, is a serious offense which may cause the cancellation of their franchises for refusing to convey passengers, while the jeepney groups anticipate full observance of the amended executive order [BicolToday.com]