By Edwin O. Fernandez
COTABATO CITY, July 26 (PNA) — Bus firms in Region 12 have started implementing a “no pick-up policy” aimed at avoiding bombing incidents that rocked the mass transport industry in the past months.
The bus companies that have been implementing this security measures include the Weena Bus Company, Yellow Bus Company and Husky bus firm that service Cotabato City-Davao City, Cotabato City-Gen. Santos City and Koronadal City-Davao City routes.
Mayor Fernando Miguel of Koronadal City said he recommended the imposition of “no pick-up policy” following a series of bombing incidents involving Yellow Bus Company.
The policy prohibits passenger buses to pick-up and discharge passengers in between terminals.
Previous bombing incidents in the region have been carried out by persons who boarded the bus along the highway and disembark before reaching a terminal in urban centers.
The latest attempt was against YBL in Sto. Nino, South Cotabato where a man who boarded at a terminal in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat but demanded to disembark before the Sto Nino bus terminal.
The driver became suspicious something was wrong so he ignored the passenger’s demand and brought the bus to the Sto Nino terminal where the man hurriedly left.
Another passenger noticed a suspicious box left at the rear side of the passenger vehicle led to an inspection by police. A bomb was found but went off even before experts could detonate the explosive. Nobody was hurt.
Elden Pasaporte, a bus conductor of Husky said the firm has been implementing the policy for several months now.
“Passengers are required to secure the ticket at the terminal, pay and board. The conductor do not carry the money collected from the passengers to avoid robbery,” he said.
Wenna bus conductor Esmael said the firm only pick-up and discharge passengers in five stations along the Davao-Cotabato route.
From Cotabato City, the stop over terminals are in Midsayap, Matalam, Kidapawan, Digos and Davao City.
Army bomb experts with bomb sniffing dogs have been deployed in all public terminals as part of preventive measures. (PNA)