March 16, 2016
MANILA, Philippines – The Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Tuesday imposed a 30-day preventive suspension in the operations of nine Starlight Express buses after one of its units figured in a road accident in Zamboanga del Sur province on March 12, which left five people dead and 34 others injured.
The accident happened at around 9 a.m. when the Starlight Express bus with plate number JVC-286 got involved in a road accident along the national highway in the vicinity of Sitio Alang-alang in Brgy Poblacion, RM, Zamboanga Del Sur.
After initial assessment, LTFRB board member Ariel Inton, Jr. said the subject bus experienced mechanical problems, which dragged two other private vehicles causing the accident.
In a three-page order, the LTFRB said it temporarily suspend the nine units of Starlight Express because it has violated “willfully and contumaciously” the terms and conditions of its franchise.
The LTFRB directed the operator of the Starlight Express to surrender the “hire plates” of its nine units to the LTFRB Regional Office in Zamboanga City on March 17.
The operator was also ordered to bring the buses to the Motor Vehicle Inspection Service of the Land Transportation Office for inspection and determination of their roadworthiness.
The bus firm’s drivers will also have to undergo a road safety seminar, take a drug test, and secure clearances from police and the National Bureau of Investigation.
Inton reminded all bus operators to conduct regular bus check-ups and maintenance prior to their trips.
“Especially now that we are approaching the Lenten season, thus an increase of the number of passengers are expected,” he added.