SECURITY measures in bus terminals and in buses themselves will be heightened following the fatal shooting of two passengers in Nueva Ecija inside a bus that was bound for Manila.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said the security measures will be extended beyond bus terminals to ensure safety of all passengers.
An immediate security audit has been recommended to DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista to ensure that bus terminals can securely handle the influx of passengers during the coming Christmas holiday transport rush.
“The Department is alarmed of this incident. Public utility buses (PUB) must be a safe haven for passengers who just want to travel from one city, province or region to another. From what we have gathered, the gunmen boarded the bus along the way in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya without going through security,” Secretary Bautista said.
The transport chief assured the public that the DOTr will enhance security measures to ensure that the Christmas season will be safe to all commuters who will return to their home provinces.
“We would like to assure the public that their travel going to the province will be safe so you can enjoy Christmas with your families,” he said.
The Office for Transportation Security (OTS) regularly conducts security audits on all bus companies, which include installed closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) inside the terminals and even on buses to monitor passenger movement.
To prevent a repeat of the incident, the DOTr mulls the requirement of a GPS and an alarm or emergency connectivity of buses to bus terminals and the bus companies’ offices for quick response, according to Bautista.
The DOTr chief explained that such measure may be required during renewals of franchises of bus companies.