BAGUIO CITY – The city government brought to the attention of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade the city’s opposition to the alleged unilateral issuance of some 200 franchises for taxis plying the city to any point of the Cordillera.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong disclosed the transportation official sympathizes with the issues raised by the city government against the grant of the said taxi franchises, particularly the further congestion in traffic in the different parts of the city brought about by a significant increase in the number of motor vehicles.
The city chief executive claimed Secretary Tugade personally called up certain transportation officials and officers of the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for the possible cancellation of the issued franchises and for them to listen to the concerns of the city government on the said matter.
He added Secretary Tugade proposed for the concerned government agencies to strictly implement the rules and regulations governing the implementation of the consolidation and public utility vehicle modernization program where franchise holders not able to comply with the same will face the cancellation of their franchises to help in dealing with the predicament of the city on the prevalence of the tremendous traffic jams around the city daily due to the huge volume of motor vehicles on the streets.
Earlier, the City Council passed Resolution No. 422, series of 2017, favourably endorsed to the LTFRB central office the petition of dozens of taxi operators in the city allowing the late filing of their already expired franchises.
Subsequently, the LTFRB approved the issuance of some 200 franchises for taxis on fleet management pursuant to the consolidation and PUV modernization program wherein the same must be managed and operated by either a transport cooperative or transport corporation with sufficient number of brand new units.
Earlier, LTFRB officials explained the 200 franchises which had been approved for issuance to a duly registered transport cooperatives or corporations were in lieu of some 190 franchises that expired with 193 taxi units that eventually ceased to exist, thus, the same was not to add up to the existing number of taxi units operating in the city and the nearby town of La Trinidad, Benguet.
Ironically, the transport cooperative that applied for the franchise of the 200 taxi units was outrightly disqualified as it cannot present the brand new units that are compliant to existing standards, but the cooperative appealed to the LTFRB central office where it is now pending investigation and possible resolution within the coming months.
On the other hand, three transport cooperatives with readily available brand new units are now awaiting the decision of the LTFRB central office on the denial of the application of the earlier applicant so that they can submit their respective applications for franchising as they have the appropriate units that are now plying the city as private vehicles while awaiting the decision of the concerned government agencies.
By Dexter A. See