School transport services are now allowed to resume operations in preparation for the face-to-face classes which are set to open this month, according to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
The LTFRB cited Memorandum Circular No. 2022-066 that was signed on July 28, 2022, allowing those with active Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) or Provisional Authority (PA) as well as those with expired CPC but with pending Application for Extension of Validity to operate for the coming school year.
Transport services with expiring CPCs dating from March 31, 2022 to August 31, 2022 have been allowed to file an application for Extension of Validity, with the LTFRB waiving penalties.
This is in recognition of the adverse financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on operators and drivers of school transport services. LTFRB will also waive penalties for school service units with pending confirmation from March 31, 2020 to August 31, 2022.
The school transport services allowed to operate must also comply with the following conditions:
1. Secured windows (steel-grilled)
2. Seatbelts for all passengers
3. Working portable fire extinguisher
4. “STOP” and “GO” signages to be carried by the conductor when children cross the street
5. Wearing of prescribed uniform by the drivers and conductors.
Operators shall likewise observe the following health and safety protocols as prescribed by the Department of Health (DOH) and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF):
1. Regular examination of the drivers and conductors’ fitness to work by checking their body temperature and screening for any symptoms of COVID-19.
2. Regular disinfection of frequently touched surfaces, such as but not limited to seats, armrests, and handles.
3. Mandatory wearing of face masks at all times by drivers and conductors, including passengers
LTFRB is reminding operators, drivers and conductors of school transport services to closely adhere to the guidelines to avoid sanctions, such as revocation of their CPC and PA.
Meanwhile, to meet the expected increase in passenger demand at the start of face-to-face classes, LTFRB is considering opening more than 100 routes, particularly within the university belt and other areas with a high concentration of students.