By Carmelito Q. Francisco, Correspondent

Transport company gets new route by buying bus firm

Posted on January 07, 2015

DAVAO CITY -- Starting Jan. 7, Bachelor Express, Inc. will begin its Davao-Cotabato service, after it is expected to acquire Weena Express, Inc., which previously served the route, Alejandro J. Alilin, Davao City Overland Transport Terminal general manager, said.

No one among the officials of either company, who were in a meeting Tuesday afternoon, wanted to make an official statement as government regulators have yet to be updated on the final transaction.

Edgar A. Violan, administrative officer of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in the Davao Region, told BusinessWorld in a text message that his office has yet to receive notice from both companies about the transaction.

“[Weena] did not file the petition for dropping the (bus) units or suspension of operations,” Mr. Violan said.

LTFRB holds the authority for the issuance of public utility bus franchises.

However, an executive from Bachelor Express who refused to be identified confirmed that the company is buying Weena Express, which has been operating for the last 35 years.

An official of Weena, who also requested anonymity, said the management decided to sell the company because it has continually been suffering losses due mainly to extortion by militant groups based along its route.

Weena has also been a victim of a series of bus bombings in the past and its owner Bernardo M. Valdevieso reportedly his bus company’s sale as early as 2007.

Between 2002 and 2008, nine Weena buses were bombed with police investigation pointing to extortion as the motive, according to a local television report.