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LTFRB: Old School Buses May Operate Until March 2016

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) postponed the retirement of 15-year-old school bus services to ensure that there would be enough vehicles to transport students this school year.

The LTFRB on Friday issued Memorandum Circular No. 2015-014, an exemption to the board’s earlier memo issued on October 2013 mandating the age limit of 15 years for school transport services.

“Sa aming masusing pag-aaral, maraming school bus services ang nakatakdang ma-phase out sa taong ito na maaaring maka-apekto sa pagpasok ng mga estudyante,” LTFRB chairman Atty. Winston Ginez said.

According to LTFRB, 1,997 out of the 6,264 registered school transport service units in Metro Manila as of December 31, 2014 are more than 15 years old.

“There is a need for a transition period to assure the availability of school service for school year (SY) 2015-2016,” he added.

Old school bus units will therefore be given an extension to operate until March 31 next year.

Operators must submit an Affidavit of Undertaking to Substitute their units that reached the age limit of 15 years before the opening of classes in 2016.

“While our main goal is to ensure the safety transport of our students, we also consider the plight of school transport services operators,” Ginez said.

The LTFRB has started checking the road-worthiness of school transport services in various schools in Metro Manila in time for the opening of classes next week.

Ginez ordered operators to address and correct minimal issues the board has found such as lack of seat belts and fire extinguishers, heavily tinted windows, and balding tires.

The LTFRB chair also directed school authorities not to accredit or allow the operation of school transport service units that are more than 15 years old beginning next year.