December 3, 2023

In fairness, the city should allow at least the 100 taxi applications filed with the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board-CAR by the Ermadrada Corporation and TBATMPC Cooperative for five units each, pursuant to LTFRB Circular 2019-016 authorizing 200 additional taxi franchises in Baguio and Cordillera.
The memorandum circular was issued after consultation was made by LTFRB-CAR in December 2018 with the city, through Councilor Benny Bomogao, chair of the committee on public utilities, transportation, and traffic legislation.
The 200 taxi franchises authorized by LTFRB for Baguio are not actually additional units but are meant to substitute the 200 taxi franchises or units cancelled by LTFRB in recent years, for abandonment or failure to renew validity of franchises by their operators.
Contrary to the claim and opposition of the Office of the City Mayor and the city council, the additional 200 units do violate the existing moratorium. It will not also cause further traffic congestion since it will only replace previously cancelled taxi units.
I would have been the first to oppose the memorandum circular if it really violates the moratorium on the issuance of new franchises in the city. I have been opposing, almost singlehandedly, new applications for franchises since 1998, to the extent of filing administrative cases against erring regional directors in the process.
I did not cause the filing of new applications for PUV franchises for prospective applicants, in support of a city council resolution which became LTFRB MC 98-026 prohibiting the issuance of new applications on routes entering and touching Baguio and outlying towns of Benguet.
Since the filing of the applications for taxi franchises by Ermadrada Corp. and TBATMPC Coop. did not violate the moratorium and there was a clear existence of public need, it will be unfair for the applicants who have invested millions for the purchase of units required by LTFRB upon the filing of their application. The units purchased in May 2019 will just be stocked in their garages and will remain until their application is granted.
The city should no longer oppose to said applications pursuant to MC 2019-016. — JAMES S. VALEROS, Baguio City