LTFRB suspends entire Dimple Star bus fleet

MANILA, Philippines – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Friday, March 23, suspended the entire fleet of Dimple Star Bus company following the crash that killed 19 people in Occidental Mindoro. 

The LTFRB imposes a 30-day preventive suspension order on all 118 bus units under 10 Certificates of Public Convenience (CPC) issued to Dimple Star Bus and its owner, Hilbert Napat.

The LTFRB required Dimple Star to inspect the roadworthiness of its buses and for drivers to undergo a road safety seminar to be scheduled by the board, within the 30-day suspension.

The LTFRB earlier suspended 10 bus units under the bus company operating from San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, to Manila via Mamburao, Abra de Ilog.

According to the Department of Transportation, Dimple Star was involved in at least 8 road crash incidents from 2011 to 2018, resulting to the deaths of more than 25 people and 134 others injured.

In a press briefing on Thursday, March 22, LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III said he inspected the terminal of the bus company and found that the its fleet is not thoroughly inspected for roadworthiness.

"The situation is pathetic. What I saw is horrible – it could be a garage but it cannot be a terminal," Delgra said in Filipino.

The LTFRB is currently coordinating with insurance and transport groups to increase the insurance coverage for death from P200,000 to P400,000; and for those injured  from P20,000 to P100,000.

The transportation department said the proposal was approved on Friday.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade directed the LTFRB to impose appropriate sanctions against Dimple Star, adding that the Occidental Mindoro road crash is what the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) modernization seeks to avoid.

"Sa ating paghahanapbuhay, dapat ay 'wag tayong kumitil ng buhay. 'Eto na naman ang trahedya sa Mindoro. Ilan pa dapat ang mamatay at masugatan para maunawaan at matanggap na dapat na talagang ipatupad at isulong ang transport modernization?" Tugade said. 

(In pursuing our livelihood, we should not take lives. We have another tragedy in Mindoro. How many more should die and get hurt before we understand and accept that we really need to implement and push forward the transport modernization?)

See the suspension order below:

All photos courtesy of LTFRB

– Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.

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