KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 16 December) – The city government here stopped Friday morning the operations of Yellow Bus Line, Inc., causing inconvenience to thousands of passengers who have been patronizing the company.
Mayor Eliordo Ogena said he ordered the closure of the firm’s private terminal since the firm allegedly violated the local revenue code.
“The company has been operating without a business permit for two years in a row, that’s why the city government closed it,” he said.
Ogena told local media that city hall has issued several cease and desist orders and notices of closure to the company, the last on Thursday, December 16, but the firm apparently disregarded them.
In response to the action of city hall, Yellow Bus posted in a giant tarpaulin, in front of its terminal, an order from the Regional Trial Court Branch 42 involving a writ of execution on Civil Case No. 2316-42.
In a ruling issued on December 27, 2019, the court ordered the city mayor and concerned offices to refrain from implementing City Ordinance No. 9 Series of 2018 on Yellow Bus, which for decades operates from its private terminal along the highway in GenSan Drive that is nearer to the city’s commercial district.
The ordinance required all buses and passenger vans operating here to utilize the city public terminal in the interior Robredo Avenue.
The case is on appeal before the Court of Appeals, Ogena said.
Ogena said that Ordinance 9 is not the issue why they closed Friday the terminal of Yellow Bus.
“The company is operating illegally without a business permit so we closed their terminal – this is the issue here,” he added.
The mayor revealed that there have been at least three meetings with a company intermediary in a bid for settlement but negotiations bogged down, leading to Friday’s stoppage of the firm’s operations.
Traffic enforcers flagged down several Yellow Bus units along the highway going to the cities of Tacurong in the north and General Santos in the south. The passengers were forced to disembark.
As city hall stopped the operation of the Yellow Bus terminal in the morning, many passengers flocked to the city public terminal, where a long queue formed due to lack of rides.
Inbound Yellow Bus units from different routes were seen offloading their passengers at its terminal Friday afternoon despite the closure order issued to the firm.
Yellow Bus is the oldest and the biggest bus operator in Soccsksargen region based in this city, the capital of South Cotabato and the seat of the regional government.
It plies the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and Davao del Sur, including Davao City.
Ogena apologized for the inconvenience brought to the riding public by the closure of Yellow Bus’ private terminal.
He, however, maintained that the company is operating illegally for lacking a business permit and that he is merely implementing the city’s revenue code in shutting down the firm’s own terminal. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)