More provincial buses will be allowed to operate this week as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is set to open additional provincial routes going to and from Metro Manila, an official said.

000 8Q33AC - LTFRB allows more buses to operate in Metro Manila
In this photo taken on September 8, 2020, passengers wearing face shields ride a bus in Manila. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP / MANIA BULLETIN)

“In terms of increasing capacity for provincial buses, we will be opening up additional routes this week,” LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III said in an interview.

According to Delgra, inter-regional bus trips from Davao City as well as from Mabalacat, Pampanga to Metro Manila, and back have been cleared by the local government units (LGUs.)

Delgra said the Board continues to coordinate with other local executives to allow their borders opened for provincial buses to transport more passengers and workers as the economy gradually reopens.

The LTFRB chief earlier said that many local officials were still opposed to the idea of opening their borders for buses to and from the capital region which is currently the epicenter of the pandemic in the country.

Twelve modified provincial bus routes from Regions 3 and 4A going to Metro Manila have been opened by the LTFRB last September 30, allowing increased travel across regions after months of lockdowns.

Under Memorandum Circular 2020-051 released by the LTFRB last month, only buses from San Fernando City in Pampanga will be allowed to load and unload passengers at the Araneta Center bus terminal in Cubao, Quezon City.

Meanwhile, the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) will serve as the endpoint for buses from Batangas City, Lipa, Lemery, and Nasugbu in Batangas; Indang, Mendez, Tagaytay City, and Ternate in Cavite; and from Calamba City, Siniloan and Sta. Cruz in Laguna.

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