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(Holy Week update) Metro Manilans begin heading for the provinces for Lenten vacation

MANILA, March 29 –- To avoid the usual last-hour rush and overcrowding, many people spending the Holy Week in the provinces began trooping to bus terminals in Cubao, Quezon City and other parts of Metro Manila on Monday.

Terminals of bus firms such as Victory Liner Inc., Dagupan Bus Co. (DBC), Jam Liner, Partas and Piltranco with trips to Northern Luzon, Southern Luzon, Bicol and Visayas were seen crowded with people bringing heavy suitcases and bags.

Bus dispatchers of VLI and the other companies said they are expecting the exodus of passengers to peak on Holy Wednesday and Maundy Thursday.

Chief Supt. Elmo San Diego, Quezon City Police District director, said he ordered the deployment of additional police teams to bus terminals starting this week to secure commuters from criminal elements.

Earlier, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said it fielded teams in major bus stations in the metropolis to look out for dilapidated buses and public utility vehicles (PUVs) to ensure the safety of passengers.

LTFRB Chairman Alberto Suansing reminded public utility operators against overcrowding of passengers and overloading of cargo.

“We already stopped a bus from leaving the terminal because it was overcrowded," Suansing told reporters.

He said he and his men will continue safety checks on all vehicles heading for the provinces.

Suansing said they will particularly inspect the conditions of the buses, such as tires, brakes and steering mechanism. (PNA) scs/JCA

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