April 23, 2024

The city council has directed the City Legal Office to exhaust all legal means to uphold the stand of the city government against the entry of 200 taxi slots in Baguio until a final ruling from the Supreme Court is issued.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board nixed the opposition of the local government and various transport groups in the city against the implementation of LTFRB Memorandum Circular 2019-016, which opened the application for additional 200 taxi units and LTFRB Resolution 117, s. 2020, which reopened the selection process since the first four applicants were disqualified.
Following the LTFRB’s decision, the city government filed a motion for reconsideration before the board.
Atty. Jordan Tumayan of the City Legal Office said the city government will appeal to Department of Transportation Sec. Arthur Tugade should the board deny the motion.
In his letter dated Jan. 29, LTFRB Chair Martin Delgra III directed the LTFRB-Cordillera to carry on with the application process.
“After thorough evaluation of the allegation propounded by all the oppositors, the board finds no cogent reason to vacate the implementation of Board Resolution 117, s, 2020,” Delgra said.
He added the opening of the application for the 200 taxi units aims to fill in the gap between the number of taxi units and the actual demand.
The board asserted there is a deficit of 183 units in the city, and the 200 additional units are not new or fresh franchises but are replacements of the abandoned and expired ones.
“The RFRO-CAR may accept applications for taxi services when justified in a gradual and calibrated manner,” Delgra said.
In 2020, the city government and various transport groups filed their respective position papers opposing the application of 200 taxi units. The applicants, through their legal counsel, were compelled to respond.
The city government said the entry of additional taxi units in the city will do more harm than good as there are 3,227 active taxi franchises, which is more than sufficient to cater to the needs of the riding public in the region.
According to a study cited in its position paper, the city requires only 2,452 taxi units for Baguio residents and 769 units for La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay or a total of 3,121 taxi units for the BLISTT.
The city government said the existing taxi units operate mostly within Baguio City. – Jordan G. Habbiling