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Group urges LTFRB to open provincial bus routes

If the government wants to speed up the country’s economic recovery,  the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) should open all provincial bus routes, urged the Pilipino Society and Development Advocates Commuter-Consumer (PASADA CC).

“We are likewise urging the government to lift the curfews imposed, not just in Metro Manila but in other places,” the organization added.

They blamed the curfew for “the death of the economy” composed of 40 per cent small and medium-sized enterprises. 

PASADA cited the admission of both Finance secretary Carlos Dominguez and National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) chief Karl Chua that the lockdowns are primary causes of the country’s fast slide towards economic disaster.

Banning the inter-regional flow of goods and people would induce further contraction of the economy  they stressed. It is not just goods but capital and people are most important in the recovery process. 

How can the economy recover when people are still being barred from moving from one province to another? the association questioned.

Even if government opens the financial floodgates for SMEs and banks expand their loan portfolios, these would just be exploited by unscrupulous individuals and not help bring the economy back on its feet. 

“It is the people that makes or unmakes an economy. It is the people that produce and consume. Barring people from doing economic activities would just be thr death knell to our economy. “

There should be a balance between implementing strict quarantines and economic activities, PASADA went on.

People from within and outside National Capital Region (NCR) should be allowed to trade and transact with people from different provinces to invigorate the economy. 

Production had been stalled because of the inability of people from the provinces to reach their intended customers and suppliers from the NCR. 

“We need to see consumers going safely to malls, to trading centers and terminals. Trust the Filipino consumer to undertake all necessary health precautions to protect himself from infection.”

Since the partial opening of bus operations last June, there has been no report of any COVID-19 infections related to bus commuters, they underscored.

This shows that bus operators have been  responsible and compliant with IATF rules on the campaign to mitigate COVID-19 infections. 

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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