BAGUIO CITY – The City Council is currently studying a proposal from the Ibaloi Indigenous Peoples Transport Cooperative requesting endorsement to the Cordillera office of the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) its intention to operate public transport service on the Baguio City-Daclan, Bokod route or vice versa due to the moratorium on the issuance of franchises for public utility vehicles in the city that date back to the late 1990s.
City legislators tasked the Committee on Public Utilities, Traffic and Transport Legislation to further study the request of the transport cooperative vis-à-vis the existing moratorium and the need of the Bokod residents and tourists to have decent transportation to and from the city.
The transport cooperative intends to apply for the issuance of franchises for some 15 units of garage vans to ply the aforesaid route to cater to the increasing demand for decent transportation to and from the said place, particularly within the premises of the Benguet State University Bokod campus.
The committee was tasked to consider Resolution No. 271, series of 2018 which strongly appealed to the Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade and Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin B. Delgra III to ban, stop, deny all public utility vehicle applications for the issuance of certificates of public convenience (CPCs) within the City of Baguio without the concurrence of the City Council.
Further, the City Council also passed Resolution No. 187, series of 2017 which requested President Rodrigo Roa Duterte through Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade and LTFRB Chairman Martin B. Delgra III to recognize the existing City Council Resolution No. 316, series of 1995, LTFRB Memorandum Circular No. 96-002, series of 1996, LTFRB Memorandum Circular No. 2003-028, Memorandum Circular No. 2016-008 as amended by Memorandum circular 2016-012, all related to the moratorium on the issuance of franchises to potential applicants for the operation of public utility vehicles plying different routes inside and outside the city.
It will be recalled that Resolution 316, series of 1995 directed the City Legal Office to file, for and in behalf of the City Government of Baguio, an urgent petition with the LTFRB and the Department of Transportation and Communication to stop, oppose, and suspend the processing of all applications for franchises of public utility vehicles in Baguio City.
City councilors expressed fear that the operation of the garage vans plying the applied route will directly compete with public utility buses and jeepneys earlier granted franchises to ply the same route even as the transport cooperative claimed their operation will not affect the existence of buses and jeepneys that were earlier issued similar franchises.
The transport cooperative is awaiting the formal endorsement from the City Council for them to proceed with the processing of their desired franchises as applications for the issuance of franchises for any type of public utility vehicle within the city will not be processed without the approved resolution of endorsement from the City Council. By Dexter A. See