MANILA (Mabuhay) – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory (LTFRB) is re-imposing the mandatory age limit for school bus (SB) transport service to 15 years, as stipulated in the Memorandum Circular 2004-012 to ensure the safety of school children when they travel to and from their respective learning institutions.
MC 2004-012 was amended in 2007 requiring all school bus operators to secure Roadworthiness Certificate in lieu of the mandatory age limit. In line with the Department of Transportation and Communications’ (DOTC) modernization program, the Board is re-imposing the MC.
“It is the duty of the school bus operators to provide safe, adequate and convenient service to the public, hence pursuant to our transport regulatory powers, we setting the guidelines and strictly implementing the mandatory age limit for school bus services,” Winston Ginez, LTFRB chairman, said.
Under Section 5 of EO 202, LTFRB is implementing the mandatory age limit of 15 years for SB regardless of type of vehicle. No units will be confirmed if the vehicle is over 15 years even it carries a valid Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC).
“Dahil sa ang mga pasahero ng school bus services ay mga batang mag-aaral, hindi iko-kompromiso ng Board at DOTC ang kanilang kaligtasan habang patungo sa kanilang mga paaralan,” Ginez emphasized.
Under the MC, only brand new units of SB will be allowed to apply for CPC effective January 1, 2014. This will be implemented in all regional offices of the Board, including in ARMM, CARAGA, and CAR.
LTFRB will refer to the LTO Certificate of Registration of the unit, which indicates the year it was manufactured, to determine the current age of the SB.
Ginez added that the Board is giving ample time for school bus operators to replace their phased out units by allowing them to be confirmed next year provided they have valid CPC. However, from 01 January 2015, the mandatory 15 years age limit will be strictly implemented.
The country, according to Ginez, has one of the oldest public utility vehicles allowed to operate in our roads. The setting up mandatory age limit for SB is part of the campaign of the DOTC/Board to eradicate units not roadworthy to be operating on the national roads.
It will be recalled that the Board has also set the age limits for buses and taxis/UVs to 15 and 13 years, respectively.(MNS)