MANILA (Mabuhay) – The Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board has issued a 30-day preventive suspension order on a bus firm whose unit figured in an accident that killed 14 people and injured 32 others in Bontoc, Mt. Province early on Feb. 7.
LTFRB chairman Atty. Winston Ginez said the preventive suspension is ordered against the Florida Transport, owner of the bus that plunged into a 116-meter-deep ravine in Barangay Talubin.
Fourteen people, including comedian Arvin “Tado” Jimenez, musician David Sicam, leader of the Kinaiya Band, and visual artist Gerard Baja, were killed and 32 others hurt.
The order came after the LTFRB discovered that the license plate (TXT-872) was issued to a bus from Mountain Province Cable Tours, owned by a certain Norberto Cue, Sr.
Ginez said on Saturday, the LTFRB will confiscate the yellow plates of all 228 Florida Transit bus units with Nueva Viscaya, Mountain Province, Cagayan, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, and Bataan routes.
The Florida bus crash and license-plate fraud came just two months after a horrific fall from the Skyway in Metro Manila of a Don Mariano Transit bus that also had fraudulent identification on its chassis, belonging to another vehicle.
After the Skyway crash, the LTFRB vowed to impose stricter control over passenger buses.
Ginez said during the 30-day preventive suspension, the agency will conduct an investigation to determine if the franchise license of the bus company needs to be revoked, suspended or canceled.
“Under the public service law na pwede ho natin i-suspend, i-revoke, or i-cancel ang franchise ng ano bang public service operator na may willful disobedience or contentious violation of the public service law,” he added. (MNS)