Anytime soon, one can see Southern Star buses plying the Tagbilaran-Panglao route.
Last Monday, two of the bus company’s officials faced reporters in a press conference announcing the possibility of Southern Star Bus plying the most sought after route.
The Southern Star Bus Company, the acknowledged king of Bohol roads, divulged it has a franchise to ply the Tagbilaran-Panglao route.
The route is perhaps the juiciest since, with the airport coming, more people will be coming in and out the island, connected to the mainland via a bridge and a causeway.
Jade Seballos and Fritzie Labastida, officers of the bus company, met with the media on Monday to reveal the plans of the company for their Bohol operations.
People are waiting for the bus company to start operating a service to and from Panglao.
Currently, transportation to Panglao is being provided by jeepneys and mini-buses, which have limited times of operation and too small to accommodate the volume of passengers.
Seballos, who is the manager of the legal and media affairs of the parent company Vallacar Transit, said the company has yet to determine when the service will start.
She said the company made sure all of the permits areto counter any legal challenges,especially from sectors.
“Any time this year, we will be operating in Panglao area,” said Seballos.
Panglao town is about an hour from Tagbilaran City. Panglao Island hosts two towns, Panglao town,and Dauis town.
The entry of the bus company is a welcome development to commuters from Panglao. There has been a clamor from the riding public aired in different local radio stations for Southern Star Bus Company to finally take the Panglao-Tagbilaran route or vice versa.
Labastida said once the bus operates the route, the terminal will still be the Integrated Bus Terminal located in Barangay Dao in Tagbilaran.
Both Seballos and Labastida assured the public the bus company has been taking steps to ensure safety on the road.
In the past, the bus company, which has the most number of units plying Bohol roads, figured in some accidents. Some of the accidents turned out to be fatal.
The duo assured the bus drivers are subjected to breathalyzers. A breathalyzer is a device to determine the blood alcohol levels to be within legal limits.
At the company’s expense, drivers are being subjected to random drug tests. This way, the public can be assured the drivers are not taking drugs.
At the same time, Southern Star Bus Company assures the drivers are given ample time to rest. There are times tired drivers make costly mistakes turning out to be perilous.
Seballos said Southern Star Bus Company units are equipped with closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras. The CCTV units give the authorities opportunity to determine the culpability in case of accidents.
HARMING THE DRIVERS
The bus company issued a warning to those thinking of blocking the firm’s entry into Dauis and Panglao towns.
The firm said it would not hesitate to file legal action against the personalities who will cause harm to Southern Star Bus drivers.
There have been reports there were some personalities allegedly intimidated employees who passed in some areas leading to Panglao.
Seballos said the firm would not hesitate to file charges for any alleged wrongdoing. (DSA)