THE Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines (PBOAP) has appealed to banks and financial institutions for a two-year moratorium on their loans and interests.
Engineer Alex Yague, PBOAP Executive Director, said their letters were addressed to Atty. Jude Romano, president of the Philippine Finance Association, Cezar P. Consing, president of the Bankers Association of the Philippines and Cecilio “Paul” D. San Pedro, president of the Chamber of Thrift Banks.
“Our member companies and affiliated bus companies have modernized our buses since 2013 in line with the government’s plan to modernize the bus transport system, hence the high level of loans by our members from banks, and financing institutions, which are members of your groups,” said Yague.
Yague added that provincial buses have not been allowed to operate since March 16, 202.
“While the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) allowed the opening of some provincial routes, passengers are very minimal due to strict Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) local government units safety protocols, which limit passenger movement to only essential travel and the prohibit cost of the bus operations due to social distancing requirements. Hence, bus operators incurred losses in operating these routes. We also do not foresee normalization of travel, considering new COVID variants and the continuous increase of infections and travel restrictions,” added Yague.
The moratorium for 2021 and 2022 will ensure the survival and recovery of the affected bus operators and the provincial bus industry in general. We need to restructure all bus company loans in order to survive the economic crisis caused by mandatory lockdowns due to the pandemic COVID-19. We need, to open more provincial bus routes to restart our economy. We will strictly follow all safety protocols, said Yague.
“We hope the concerned instructions will consider our urgent request of appeal for help. Pwede nilang personal na bisitahin ang lahat ng mga garages ng lahat ng provincial buses to see for themselves kung ano talaga ang nagyari at patuloy na nagyayari,” said Yague.