By Ellalyn de Vera Ruiz
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) clarified yesterday that it did not order the cessation of services of a point-to-point (P2P) bus system in Metro Manila.
According to the LTFRB, Froehlich Tours, Inc. (FTI) which plied the SM North EDSA-SM Megamall and Trinoma-Park Square routes, was one of the first to be awarded with P2P routes in 2016.
In November 2019, LTFRB explained that MAN Automotive Concessionaires Corporation (MAN), an exclusive truck and bus importer, assembler, and distributor, submitted a letter requesting the Board to look into the financial capability of FTI to maintain its operations, fund expenses that may arise from accidents, and continue to provide public service.
According to MAN, FTI initially acquired 17 bus units amounting to a total of P185.7 million from them.
LTFRB pointed out that FTI was only able to pay P39.2 million, which resulted in MAN having to repossess 12 bus units. To this day, P19.75 million is still left unpaid by FTI, it added.
While these allegations are still under investigation by the Board, LTFRB added that an inspection of the FTI bus units revealed that the company’s provisional authority, which allowed them to run and function as a public service provider, has already expired and no renewal was filed.
An order has been sent out to FTI to submit its 2019 financial statement within a period of five days from receipt. The hearing is reset, upon the agreement of both parties, on March 3, 2020 at the LTFRB Central Office in Quezon City.
Pending the outcome of the hearing, it said it will adopt measures in the coming weeks to ensure that the riding public will be provided with the needed transport service in the routes affected.