Inter-municipality jeeps ban scored

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Local officials joined the netizens in condemning the plan of the Baguio City government to prohibit inter municipality jeepneys from entering the city’s central business district to reportedly reduce the traffic congestions, saying that the plan is no longer in conformity with the overall objective of the creation of the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) growth area aside from being an anti-poor policy.

Mayor Romeo K. Salda said that such scheme was previously implemented and it turned out to be impractical because it is not only the people outside Baguio who will be affected but people of the city wanting to go to other neighboring towns will also suffer from the nightmare that will be created by the proposed traffic scheme.

“There is a need to seriously study the serious implication of the proposed traffic scheme to the people of the BLISTT localities. We should be formulating strategies, programs, projects and activities that will be beneficial to the people of the member localities and not for a single area alone,” Mayor Salda stressed.

He claimed that instead of easing the burden of the people from the BLISTT, the traffic scheme will just add up to the current burden of the people travelling in and out of the BLISTT by adding up to their transportation expenses instead of reducing the same for savings and for other uses.

Earlier, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong said that the local government will be prohibiting the entry of inter-municipality jeepneys in the city to address the worsening traffic congestions in the city’s central business district.

For his part, Tublay Mayor Armando Lauro also expressed his opposition to the implementation of the controversial traffic scheme wherein the same should not be rammed on the throats of the BLISTT because it will eventually defeat the purpose of the creation of the same.

He suggested that the proposed traffic scheme must pass through a comprehensive study and consultations to be able to formulate a better alternative rather than forcing other local governments to comply with such policy in the future.

He claimed that it is not enough for them to be informed about the impending implementation of the traffic scheme but there should be massive consultations with the concerned stakeholders for the city government to be able to solicit better suggestions and recommendations from the affected sectors.

Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan said that the municipal government will stand by the position of the people from the different barangays who will be affected by the said traffic scheme, especially that they will have to undergo two rides before reaching the city proper to transact business and another two rides in going back to their places of origin.

Palangdan said that it will not look good for a local government unit to have the constituents of other local governments within its midst to be the ones to suffer the consequences of the implementation of programs, projects and activities that are geared to improve the situation in their places among other reasons and what is needed is constant consultations with the affected sectors for them to get better inputs on how to implement their schemes designed for better traffic flow around the city. By HENT

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