Sunday, May 17, 2009
Shooting A Star?
I just came from a three-day vacation the other day. And it is my first time to have a bus ride from Cubao, Quezon City to San Jose. The bus-riding public,- the usual travelers and commuters from Occidental Mindoro to Metro-Manila, told me to try this bus because it is so convenient and we really deserve this kind of transport service. But operationally and legally, there are glitches that are still need to be patched up by the proprietors. The bus company is being protested by some competitors who are allegedly backed-up by a certain influential local politician.
Dimple Star Bus Corporation is owned by Hilbert S. Napat of Muntinlupa City. According to my source, the owner is financially capable to operate such public utility vehicle in our province. In fact, it has been his business for a very considerable period of time. Napat allegedly has a good track record in the business for,- under a different franchises, his previous companies had been authorized by the LTFRB or the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board. There are ten (10) units plying to said route. A Dimple Star bus instantly became the “superstar” of our rocky and hell-like roads!
On March 26, 2009, Dimple Star had its maiden voyage in Occidental Mindoro and my townspeople are so happy and glad about this development. But that was just momentarily. Its operation was stopped early this month only to resume after three days or so. I was informed by our driver and his crew last Friday that,- again, they are facing the same problem so it’s going to be their last trip. The Dimple Star Bus Corporation was given a Certificate of Public Conveniences to Operate PUB (RORO) Service by virtue of the LTFRB’s (Board) Resolution to Case No. 2008-2206. The Resolution is valid for a period of five (5) years. In short, as I see it, the company is operating legally. Not to mention how the riding public appreciate very much its presence. Cheap (only PhP 950.00), convenient and DIRECT travel, what more can you ask for?
But why are we so nuts about a big air-conditioned bus when we travel to Metro-Manila? I do not want to elaborate on this. But to satisfy your curiousity, ask a friend from (or anybody who tried to travel by bus in) Occidental Mindoro and ask him/her how hard it is to commute via “transfers” from our province to Metro Manila and vice versa. Or why not try it your self? I’m giving you a free accommodation if you are lucky enough to get to San Jose…. in one piece and your spirit intact in your body!
The direct boat (RORO) trip from Batangas to San Jose and vice versa had been part of history for so long. The Caminawit Port, specially its docking area had been unserviceable for almost a year now. Why? Ask our politicians, the tree cutters and loggers,- both illegal and legal, anybody from Montenegro Shipping Lines, the riding public, the stevedores, the truckers, our local businessmen,- big and small; and you will get different answers and alibis from each one of them. You will be confused even more. Heck.
The creation of the Strong Republic Nautical Highway is one of the few projects of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that I admire. The presence of bus companies like the Dimple Star allows transportation alternatives, convenience to the riding public, enhance accessibility to tourism areas and improve inter-regional trade including commodity exchange, and, based on my recent experience last Friday, it significantly decreased travel time. But I am not promoting here the Dimple Star Bus Company per se. It doesn’t matter to us, commuters, the name of the bus or the owner of the company as long as they are legal. And if I may add, not owned by politicians who tries to manipulate all of the major businesses in Occidental Mindoro. Remember what Deng Xiao Peng once said?, “It doesn’t matter what is the color of the cat, as long as it catches mice..” But here in my province, the greedy bus operators catches not mice but a lot of money and the politicians want to catch many votes and power, and influence as possible.
For all of them, instead of threatening your competitors, why not make their presence an opportunity to grind your ax? Improve your service and the people will surely support you. Be it in business, be it in politics. Let us make this issue,- the transport service, a concern in 2010...