Issue of September 20, 2020
Mt. Province

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Groups firm in opposing PUJ terminal transfer
by Hanna C. Lacsamana and Jordan G. Habbiling

The concerned groups of jeep operators, drivers, commuters, business owners, and barangay officials firmly oppose the transfer of their loading areas despite findings that the experimental scheme has improved traffic at the central business district.

In last week’s regular city council session, the groups stressed on the difficulties, inconveniences, and loss of income caused by the implementation of Executive Order 114-2020 which relocated to Gov. Pack Road the loading areas of several PUJ lines previously located at the business center, namely those bound for Mines View, Navy Base, Tiptop, Pacdal, Liteng, Lucnab, Maria Basa, and Happy Hallow.

They called out the Baguio Traffic and Transportation Technical Working Group (BTTTWG) for failing to consult the affected sectors prior to the implementation of the EO, which should have been conducted as the transfer affects their livelihood and their performance of smooth public conveyance.

They complained the distance commuters have to walk from the city market or lower Session Road to Gov. Pack Road, especially when they carry loads and when the commuter is a senior citizen.

Punong barangays of districts 1 and 2 also said they are receiving the ire of their constituents for supposedly consenting to the new PUJ loading arrangement, when in fact they were not consulted.

They also raised the added cost to those who are constrained to take two rides going to Gov. Pack.

A group of business owners said they have been disadvantaged by the terminal transfer since most of their clients are those who go to their area or the city market before taking the jeep going home.

PB Abraham Lagasca of Pacdal suggested three options to address the plight of commuters. First is to allow the jitney lines to go back to their previous loading areas; second, to use Gov. Pack Road as staging area and Calderon St. as the loading area; and third, to adopt the pick-and-go scheme.

Councilor Michael Lawana supported the third option describing it as the “win-win solution.”

Engr. Juanario Borillo, member of the BTTTWG, said the pick-and-go scheme is being considered but the group has to “make some rules, plans, and lay-out of the area so that the scheme can be implemented properly.”

Borillo and Lt/Col. Oliver Panabang, chief of the Baguio City Police Office Traffic Management Unit, said the relocation of loading/staging areas has addressed the vehicular congestion within the city center and the long queuing of passengers especially during rush hours.

Councilor Benny Bomogao, chair of city council committee on public utilities, traffic, and transport legislation, requested the TWG to carefully study the concerns raised by the public and present to the council their recommendations addressing these concerns within 15 days.

Transcripts of the council proceedings as well as the petitions lodged by different groups were furnished to the TWG for its consideration and appropriate action.

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