MANILA – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Wednesday issued a temporary suspension against 13 buses of Vallacar Transit Inc. after one of its buses fell into a ravine in Hamtic, Antique that resulted in 17 deaths.
In a statement, LTFRB chair Teofilo Guadiz III said these 13 buses make up all buses of the company that ply the Iloilo City (Molo Terminal) – Caticlan via San Jose, Pandan route.
“'Yung mga bus na nagbabyahe ng rutang 'yon (All buses that ply that route), there are 13 of them, have already been issued a preventive suspension right away,” Guadiz said.
The preventive suspension, he said, would allow the LTFRB to conduct a site inspection to ensure the roadworthiness of their buses as well as their drivers.
“Ang roadworthiness ay done during the registration but it is incumbent upon the bus company na every time babiyahe 'yan, sisiguraduhin nila na maayos 'yung kanilang mga bus (Roadworthiness inspections are done during registration but it is incumbent upon the bus company to ensure that their vehicles are in good condition before every journey),” he said.
He said coordination with Vallacar’s insurance company is ongoing to compensate the victims of the road crash.
Meanwhile, Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief, Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza II instructed the regional director of LTO-Western Visayas to probe the incident and provide assistance to the victims who died and those who were injured.
Mendoza noted that such road crashes are the reason for the recent aggressive implementation of the “no registration, no ride” policy that seeks to apprehend unregistered vehicles.
“Ang pagpaparehistro ng sasakyan ay isang paraan ng ating pamahalaan upang matiyak ang road worthiness ng mga sasakyan para sa kaligtasan ng lahat (Vehicle registration is one of the ways the government can ensure the road worthiness of vehicles for everyone’s safety),” he said.
On Tuesday, a Ceres Liner bus -- a bus line under Vallacar -- was bound for Antique from Iloilo City when the vehicle encountered a mechanical failure, overshot the permanent concrete barrier on the curved and mountainous road in Barangay Igbucagay before falling into a 20-to-30-meter ravine.
The Antique Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) has confirmed 17 persons dead, including one critically injured victim who died Wednesday.
To date, the Antique PDRRMO said four others are injured but in stable condition plus seven critically injured at the Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital. (PNA)