THE PANGASINAN government will again appeal to the national task force handling the coronavirus response to allow bus companies to use their private terminals in Metro Manila to encourage the resumption of public transport services to the province.

Under Inter-Agency Task Force Resolution 101-2021 issued Feb. 26, “all buses bound for provinces shall be required to use the Integrated Terminal Exchange as the central hub for transportation. No bus company or public transport shall be allowed use of their private terminals.”

An official of bus firm Victory Liner, Inc., in a session of the provincial board earlier this week, said using the North Luzon Express Terminal (NLET) instead of their own will cost an additional P100,000 to P150,000 for the terminal slot.

Aleksander Briones, operations manager of Victory Liner in Dagupan City, said with the lower passenger capacity due to health safety protocols and added NLET cost, it would mean operating at a loss for their Pangasinan destinations.

The Pangasinan provincial government, in a statement, said the use of NLET located in Bocaue, Bulacan also means added cost and inconvenience to commuters.

“Further, the use of the NLET will necessarily cause immense inconvenience and would likewise cost a fortune for commuters, as they will be forced to use 2-3 lines of transportation, instead of the direct trip to and from Metro Manila,” it said.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has already issued an order allowing 716 buses to cover the routes from Metro Manila to the following points in Pangasinan: Asingan, Manaoag, Pozorrubio, San Nicolas, San Quintin, Umingan, Alaminos City, Agno, Anda, Bolinao, Dagupan City, Lingayen, and San Carlos City.

Provincial Legal Officer Geraldine U. Baniqued said it will again push for the lifting of the national task force’s resolution.

“The provincial government has been consistent in endorsing requests of all bus operators to LTFRB after securing consent from concerned local chief executives, where the terminals are located,” she said.