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Confab on bus project set on Sunday: official

THE CITY government and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRP) Region XI is holding the fourth pre-qualification conference on Sunday as part of choosing the bus operators for the Davao City Interim Bus Project.

Assistant City Administrator Tristan Dwight Domingo said conference is necessary after the applicants failed to qualify in the past three selection processes held on July 17, August 20, and September 11.

Based on LTFRB Board Resolution No. 174 Series of 2020 dated September 23, “none of the applicants qualified due to lack of currently manufactured low-floor low-entry units brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic”.

Domingo said some qualifications need to be modified as applicants raised valid comments in relation to their failure to qualify.

“There is a strong and immediate need for a well-regulated bus transport system in the city even before Covid-19 struck. How much more now when the capacity of jeepneys is reduced due to Covid-19,” he said, adding that these public utility vehicles have to comply with the allowable seating capacity as part of the standard health and safety protocols.

“What Covid tells us is we need to have an efficient bus transit system that should always be functioning. We can’t be dependent on our operators. Always remember that with public transport, safety and security, as well as convenience, are important,” he said.

The pre-qualification conference will take place at 2 p.m at the LTFRB regional office XI new building along Libby Road, Puan.

The Davao City Interim Bus Project is a move to further address public transport needs in Davao City, especially during the coronavirus pandemic when public jeepneys were limited to carry passengers.

It is also an initial phase of the High Priority Bus System that envisions a modern and efficient public transport system within the city.

Domingo thanked the LTFRB for fully supporting the city’s initiative for the bus transit project.

According to LTFRB XI Regional Director lawyer Armand B. Dioso, the fourth pre-qualification process is within the Board Memorandum Circular No. 2020-51 dated September 28.

The submission of qualification documents is set at 9 a.m. on October 9 at the Office of the Regional Director, LTFRB RFRO 11, Balusong Avenue, Matina, Davao City while the qualification proceeding is slated at 10 a.m. on the same day at LTFRB RFRO No. 11, New Building, Libby Road, Puan.

Recall that LTFRB 11 issued MC No. 2020-024 or the “Implementing Guidelines for Davao City Interim Bus Project”, opening the Toril, Catalunan Grande, and Carlos P. Garcia/Diversion routes for application.

Citing the city’s immediate demand for the operation of the Interim Bus System, LTFRB modified the number of available compliant units with an official receipt and certificate of registration (OR/CR) or sales invoice and delivery receipt or undertaking to submit the same within one year from receipt of selection and the undertaking to comply with the proposed delivery of compliant unit within one year from the issuance of Notice of Selection as duly certified by the supplier, assembler or manufacturer based within the Philippines.

If based outside the country, the certification must be authenticated by a Philippine Consulate embassy.

The Board Resolution No. 174 also underscored that the selected operator will be required to operate within 15 days from Notice of Selection with a minimum of two-thirds of the total number of required vehicles while awaiting delivery of compliant units required under MC No. 2020-024.

The Regional Franchising and Regulatory Office No. 11 is authorized to issue a 120-day provisional authority, renewable for another 90 days with justifiable reasons.

The operator will also be permitted to use, with preference to low floor low entry buses, or coach-type buses not more than five years old at the date of application for provisional authority, whether private or for hire, or units leased from other operators, manufacturers, and dealers.

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