INTERIOR and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos has ordered the police and other concerned government authorities to ensure the safety of tens of thousands of passengers who were flocking to bus terminals on their way to their respective provinces, to vote in the scheduled Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) and observe All Saints Day.
Abalos made the call shortly after receiving the report from DILG Undersecretaries Oscar Valenzuela and Serafin Barreto Jr. who earlier visited the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) on Saturday together with Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Don Artes and other government officials.
During the visit, the officials observed the continuing exodus of people going to their provinces for the anticipated long weekend.
Prior to the visit, Abalos instructed his officials to prioritize the importance of guaranteeing the safety of the passengers in terminals like PITX where high volume of travelers is expected to flock during holidays and long-weekends.
“Bubuhos talaga ang tao kaya dapat ay handa tayo. Walang pinakamahalaga kundi ang tiyakin ang kaligtasan ng ating mga kababayan na uuwi sa kanilang probinsiya ngayong long weekend. It remains our paramount consideration and priority,” he said.
Abalos also ordered them to primarily check on the condition of passenger buses that would ply their respective routes in various regions and provinces especially on their road-worthiness.
The two DILG officials likewise met with the drivers and made sure that they were in perfect health condition and were not under the influence of alcohol and illegal drugs.
They also talked with passengers and asked their situation, observations, and concerns while ensuring that the ticketing and queuing systems are functional, and sufficient police personnel are present on-site to ensure the smooth flow of people and vehicles in the terminal.
As of October 28 noontime, PITX has already recorded over 60,000 commuters in foot traffic even as it expects to accommodate over 1.6 million travelers from the period of October 27 to November 6