The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Wednesday said it had laid out plans for the September reopening of provincial bus routes to and from Metro Manila, but multiple provinces opposed accepting passengers from the Covid-19 pandemic epicenter.

LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III said that only four of 81 provinces were willing to open their borders to passengers from Metro Manila.

“Because of that, we will have to prepare nevertheless to open provincial bus routes on a limited capacity,” he said in a Laging handa briefing.

Delgra said that the LTFRB, Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority have identified terminals to handle cross-border terminal exchanges once provincial bus operations resume.

These include the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange, North Luzon Expressway Integrated Terminal in Bulacan, Valenzuela Integrated Terminal and Sta. Rosa Terminal in Laguna.

“Hopefully, we are looking at a timeline na within the month, we will be opening the provincial bus routes po coming from Metro Manila or ending in Metro Manila,” he said.

Provincial buses were supposed to resume operations on June 22, according to the second phase of DOTr’s public transport guidelines, but mismatching community quarantine classifications delayed the resumption. John Ezekiel J. Hirro