Bus operators face fines of at least Php5,000 for accepting passengers who can no longer sit on the seats provided inside the bus. This came after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7 in Central Visayas announced that it would implement the said policy.
The agency pointed out that the “No Overloading” policy has since been in effect since 2005 and they have decided to implement the “No Standing Policy” as the most effective way to stop overloading.
It is common knowledge, however, that buses almost always have standing passengers, especially during peak season and rush hours. After all, there are too many passengers but too few buses to accommodate their number.
The LTFRB insists that this is for the passengers’ safety.
Last Friday, January 4, the bus headed Bantayan town in Bantayan Island, located over 132 kilometers north of Cebu City, was already full and set to leave at 9:30 PM but a number of passengers still wanted to ride because the next bus leaves at midnight, nearly 3 hours away!
Later, Bantayan town native Lyndon Placencia shared a photo taken inside the bus of passengers who were sleeping on the floor. While waiting for the boat to take them to Bantayan Island, the passengers on the ‘extension’ seats must have been so tired that they decided to sleep on the floor.
Placencia’s post went viral, getting mixed reactions from netizens. Some believe it was funny that these people were able to outsmart the LTFRB’s “No Standing Policy” because they weren’t standing at all – they were lying on the floor! But many believe these passengers should have waited for the next bus as this puts them in danger.
The LTFRB would soon probe the incident and declare that the bus did not violate the policy because the vehicle was not moving, it was at the port when the photo was taken.