Some 1.2 million passengers are expected to troop to the Para?aque Integrated Terminal Exchange for trips to and from their home provinces for the Holy Week, PITX management said.
This early, management is already preparing for the influx of passengers expected to swell starting Friday, March 31, according to a report by Jonathan Andal on Unang Balita on Monday.
Some regular bus trips to Bicol and Visayas are already fully booked for Holy Week, but additional units are expected to be deployed.
A representative of a bus company advised passengers to do walk-in or be a chance passenger to try to be accommodated on the additional units to be deployed.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has already issued special permits to 22 units for additional trips to Bicol.
Many passengers heading north, such as Baguio, are also reserving trips already for Holy Week.
The LTFRB said it will deploy personnel at PITX during the Holy Week rush to give special permits for additional bus units as needed.
The Land Transportation Office meanwhile said it will inspect buses to ensure they are in good condition, and check on drivers to make sure they are not under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
PITX ‘ready’ for Holy Week
Meanwhile, PITX Corporate Affairs and Government Relations head Jason Salvador said the transport terminal is “ready” for the expected exodus.
At the PTV public briefing, Salvador said the terminal has implemented several measures in line with the government’s “Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Semana Santa” program to ensure convenient and safe travel for all passengers including the checking of all vehicles in PITX for their roadworthiness.
It is also working with the LTFRB and LTO to provide enough public transport units and is set to conduct random drug and breathalyzer tests for all drivers, he added.
The government earlier announced that April 6 (Maundy Thursday) and April 7 (Good Friday) are regular holidays while April 8 (Black Saturday) is a special non-working day.
Meanwhile, Monday, April 10, has been declared a non-working day in observance of Araw ng Kagitingan, which falls on April 9 (Sunday). –with Sundy Locus/KG/BM, GMA Integrated News