BAGUIO CITY – The City Council issued an invitation to ranking officials of the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to appear before its regular session on Monday, September 16, 2019 to shed light on the circumstances that caused the regulatory agency to grant the issuance of franchises to some 400 taxi units plying the city’s route.
The local legislative body came out with the decision to first invite the LTFRB officials to shed light on the issuance of the franchises to the taxi units to check on whether or not the city needs the additional taxi units to cater to the growing transportation needs of both the residents and tourists alike.
Also pending action by the local legislative body is a proposed resolution opposing the implementation of Memorandum Circular No. 2019-016 of the LTFRB with the subject relative to the opening of additional taxi franchises for Baguio city and La Trinidad, Benguet to any point in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and in Butuan City to any point of the CARAGA Region.
The local legislative body reminded the LTFRB that the moratorium on the issuance of franchises to applicants of the operation of public utility vehicles is still in effect, thus, whatever action that will be undertaken by the LTFRB should pass the endorsement of the city council.
Earlier, Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong expressed disappointment over the attempts of the LTFRB and concerned transport setors to circumvent the existing moratorium on the issuance of franchises to public utility vehicles by acting on the applications of those wanting to operate taxis plying the route La Trinidad to any point of the Cordillera but plying the routes inside the city.
The local chief executive argued that the eventual operation of the additional taxi units will further aggravate the prevailing traffic congestions in the different parts of the city that could significantly affect the stress-free and convenient travel of motorists inside and outside the city.
Local legislators agreed to invite the concerned LTFRB officials to explain the reason why the additional taxi franchises were opened despite the pending moratorium that was issued by the same agency over two decades ago and for the LTFRB to come out with a justifiable reason to support the said issuance that seems to contradict the existing moratorium.
Based on the data of the LTFRB-CAR, there are over 3,200 taxi units with legitimate franchises that are operating in the city aside from the alleged increasing number of reported colorum taxi units.
The local legislative body expressed confidence that LTFRB officials will heed the invitation unlike in previous instances in the past that they refused to appear when they were given formal invitations for them to explain various issues surrounding the issuance of franchises to different public utility vehicles plying the city’s route despite the implementation of the moratorium on the same.
The LTFRB reportedly issued 200 taxi franchises on fleet management and another 200 units in lieu of the taxi units that have already ceased to operate in the city.
By Dexter A. See