PASAY CITY – From the Office for Transportation Security’s (OTS) standpoint, one concrete way to help push for a more robust security in the land sector, is to ensure coordination with other regulatory agencies of the government such as the Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board (LTFRB), in requiring bus operators to submit their OTS-approved security plans, before they are issued with a Certificate of Public Convenience upon their application for franchise. This also applies to renewal of franchise by bus operators with the LTFRB. This way, it boosts commuters’ confidence, while ensuring that its protection complements the on-going infrastructure development and transport modernization initiatives of the DOTr.

Under LTFRB Memorandum Circular Number 2021 – 035, bus operators are now required to submit, as an additional documentary requirement, their OTS-approved security plan, in compliance to the provisions set forth in the National Land Transportation Security Program (NLTSP) effective June 12, 2021. After years of intensive research and data gathering, the first-ever NLTSP was approved and adopted under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, and leadership by no less than DOTr Secretary Art Tugade in 2017.

“Without the decisive-kind of leadership of Sec. Art Tugade, and his strong will to transform public transportation as comfortable and convenient as possible for the Filipinos, the security of the land sector will not be realized this fast. We are also very thankful for the support and cooperation of the LTFRB through Chairman Martin Delgra and all its personnel involved in the crafting and successful publication of this Memo Circular.” OTS Administrator Undersecretary Raul Del Rosario said.

He added that, “since the 9/11 attack, security in the aviation and maritime have changed. It is not surprising that there are modal shift to land and rail sectors who are equally vulnerable to terror attacks. Today is the time for our land and rail sectors to take off.”

The security plan of bus operators contains 12 key points which aims to address critical elements of security including: security organization and security responsibilities, security measures and procedures, records-keeping, training of personnel, security drills and exercises, security equipment, and contingency plan.