BAGUIO CITY – The local government is constrained to take the appropriate legal action to restrain the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) from pursuing the processing of some 400 taxi franchises in the city to prevent the further increase in motor vehicles that will result to worsening traffic congestions.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong said that the local government will petition the local court to issue the necessary restraining order that will prevent the LTFRB from processing the approved taxi franchises once the board refuses to heed the previous appeal of local officials to recall the same because of its serious repercussions to the city’s efforts in improving the prevailing traffic situation in the different parts of the city.
He said that he gave instructions to the City Legal Office to study the appropriate legal action that the local government will take once the LTFRB will not cancel the approved taxi franchises so that the same could be immediately filed once there will be no positive action from the board on the said matter.
Earlier, the LTFRB reportedly approved some 200 taxi franchises on fleet management primarily for organized transport cooperatives and corporations and another 200 taxi franchises in lieu of some 195 franchises that were previously granted to taxi operators that eventually ceased to operate in the city.
The local chief executive pointed out that the eventual operation of the 400 additional units of taxis in the city will surely complicate the prevailing traffic situation in the city and will be an added headache to the local government’s traffic and transport management division and traffic enforcers on how to formulate the needed plans and programs to ease the traffic situation for the benefit of residents and tourists alike.
According to him, the local government already sent its opposition to the LTFRB central office on the approved taxi franchises with the hope that the same will be given due consideration to avoid the involvement of the tedious legal processes on the matter which could be immediately resolved if there is proper coordination and consultation with the concerned stakeholders.
The LTFRB is the government’s regulatory agency that issues the required certificates of public convenience or franchises to applicants for interested operators of public utility buses, jeepneys, taxis and garage vans among other modes of land transport.
Magalong expressed optimism that the LTFRB will heed the call of the local government to revoke the approved franchises to avoid complicating the issue considering that what the local government wants is for concerned government agencies that have programs, projects and activities within the jurisdiction of the city to first coordinate and consult with the local officials to guide them in their future actions.
The principle of fleet management is part of the overall initiative of the government to consolidate all public utility vehicle franchises that will be awarded to duly registered and accredited transport cooperatives and corporations pursuant to the desire of the present administration to modernize the country’s transport sector.
By Dexter A. See