LTFRB Chair Cheloy Garafil (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has allowed the reopening of 133 different pre-pandemic routes for city buses, modern and traditional public utility jeepneys (PUJ) and UV Express in time for the first day of school on Monday.

In a virtual conference, LTFRB Chair Cheloy Garafil said the 133 suspended routes due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic were reopened through the issuance of LTFRB Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2022-067 and MC No. 2022-068.

Under this, a total of 33 city bus routes operating outside the Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) will be reopened.

“The Board, in the exercise of its powers and functions under Executive Order No. 202, resolves as it is hereby resolved to approve the resumption of operation of pre-pandemic non-EDSA bus routes and the retention of other GCQ city bus routes that are found to be responsive to passenger demand,” it read.

On the other hand, MC No. 2022-068 will allow the resumption of 68 modern and traditional PUJ routes and 32 modern and traditional UV Express routes.

Of the 68 PUJ routes, 49 will have the traditional PUJs while three will have modern PUJs.

In addition, of the 32 UV Express routes, 30 will have traditional UV Express units while two will have modern ones.

The circular covers PUJs and UV Express units with valid Certificates of Public Convenience (CPCs) or Provisional Authority operating in and entering the National Capital Region.

It also includes those with expired CPCs but with Application for Extension of Validity “timely filed” and those with pending Motion for Extension of Provisional Authority for consolidated entities with or “without OFG compliant units pursuant to MC 2022-033.”

While these routes will officially start on Monday, Garafil said those who are able to secure a special permit for their resumption of operation may ply these routes at an earlier date.

On Thursday, she will meet with the LTO and MMDA to discuss the reopening of the routes and to ensure that their enforcers are aware of the new policies.

Earlier, the Department of Education announced that School Year 2022-2023 will begin on Aug. 22 with a gradual rollout of face-to-face classes until its full resumption by November. (PNA)