BAGUIO CITY – The local legislative body warned the regional director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Transportation and Railways (DOTR-CAR) to appear during its regular session on Monday to shed light on the issuance of franchises to school service and shuttle applicants, else it will be constrained to declare him persona non grata in the city if he refuses to do so.
Members of the City Council decided to defer action in granting the requested endorsement to the franchise application of GM Joe Tours Corporation, the shuttle service provider of Texas Instruments Philippines, to allow DOTR-CAR Regional Director Jose Eduardo Natividad to explain the official stand of the agency relative to the issuance of franchises to applicants of school service and shuttle services in the different parts of the city.
The local legislative body had invited Natividad to personally appear before its previous regular session but for three consecutive times he sent a representative to the said meetings, which irked some members.
The council granted the request of a certain Dexter Chan for the issuance of a favourable endorsement to support his application for the issuance of the needed franchise for his school service while it deferred action on the request of GM Joe Tours Corporation for a similar endorsement until such time that Natividad will personally appear during their upcoming session and clarify certain matters to be asked by local legislators.
It can be recalled that the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) issued Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 96-002 on January 10, 1996. It imposed a moratorium on the issuance of franchises to applicants for the operation of public utility vehicles in the city and has never been repealed since then.
Recently, the City Council passed Resolution No. 187, series of 2017, reiterating to the LTFRB the recognition of the existing moratorium on the issuance of franchises to applicants for the operation of public utility vehicles in the city.
The local legislative body asserted that if the DOTR-CAR official decides not to personally appear before its regular session this coming Monday then he must submit the position of his office in writing, for the appreciation of the members whether or not it is meritorious, however it is seen as better for him to personally appear and answer questions on the pressing issue.
Local legislators are wondering why the LTFRB-CAR requested Chan to secure an endorsement from the council without issuing the required franchise for his one unit of school service while the LTFRB-CAR granted the request of GM Joe Tours Corporation for the issuance of franchises for its nine shuttle services even without the official and favourable endorsement from the city council.
Some local legislators aired their observations that the LTFRB-CAR seems to have been unfair in granting franchise applications, both to individual and corporate applicants, through the years and thus the need for the same to be clarified by the DOTR-CAR official.
By Dexter A. See