June 17, 2024

The city council has invited representatives from the Cooperative Development Authority, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, and the board chair of the Cordillera Basic Sectors Transport Cooperative to shed light on issues hurled against the latter in line with the management of the transport coop.
The council, on motion of Councilor Benny Bomogao, also invited the Land Bank of the Philippines to attend its session on March 6 to inform the body about the status of CBSTC funds which are allegedly under the control of CBSTC chair Jude Wal.
During the council’s session on Feb. 27, Rolando Yambot, who has been elected as new CBSTC chair last January, sought the assistance of the city council in addressing the issues hounding the cooperative, which is among the first to consolidate in compliance with the public transport modernization program of the government.
The issues, Yambot said, which although are internal problems that should be solved by the coop members themselves, may adversely affect public transport in areas being serviced by the cooperative.
Wal remains the CBTSC board chair on paper since Yambot, while duly elected new coop board chair, has yet to be recognized by CDA. Wal was also invited to the session on Feb. 27 but declined due to prior appointment.
Yambot told the city council they aim to operate a functional coop since 100 percent of their public utility modernized vehicles are operating in the city, but because of the fact there are many questionable actions and issues within the management of the coop, this may discourage the drivers and operators to engage further in the modernization program of the go-vernment.
It may also lead to the cooperative’s bankruptcy, he added.
“With these issues confronting the coop now, although these are internal, we decided to bringthem to the city council for possible investigation so that we can have the right management of the coop,” Yambot said.
He said they have submitted information to the CDA about the new officers but until this time the CDA, which created a technical working group to address the issues, has not made a decision yet.
“We are not forum shopping, we are asking entities who can help us because of Wal’s defiance to get away from this issue,” Yambot said.
Issues Yambot raised to the city council are the funds from the Libreng Sakay program that had no records and alle-gedly did not reach its intended beneficiaries, unpaid loans taken out for the purchase of modernized jeepneys, drivers/operators who cannot procure from the manufacturer vehicle parts needed for repair, alleged removal of members from the coop, and other internal and management problems.
He said they had also sent a letter asking Land Bank to freeze withdrawal transactions from the coop account.
Yambot added from the 900 plus original members of the coop when it was founded in 2018, around 200 are active and had a strong clamor to elect a new board chair and coop officers, which led to the election last Jan. 14.
At least 30 modernized vehicles are serving routes in Baguio City, particularly in Aurora Hill, Trancoville, and Dominican barangays.
The council expressed concern over the issues since it involves public interest and therefore reiterated its invitation to Wal to explain his side on the complaint against him. – Hanna C. Lacsamana