July 17, 2024

Members of the city council have clarified anew the city government did not allow the approval of the new taxi units now plying the city roads.
The clarification was made after a transport group asked why the new units are now operating despite claims that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board did not consult the city government when it proceeded with the application process that paved the way for the operation of 200 units.
James Bolinao, president of the Association of Independent Taxi Operators and Drivers in Cordillera, asked if it was possible for the city government to declare the resolution that allowed the operation of 200 units illegal and if their franchise registration can be recalled.
Bolinao appeared before the council on July 5 to air his group’s sentiments.
“If there was no agreement between the city government and the LTFRB, is the resolution that allowed the 200 units to ply the city roads not illegal? Can their registration not be recalled? We are wondering why the new taxi units continue to operate,” Bolinao said.
Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan and Councilor Bomogao said the city government has raised the same sentiments, among other things, when it opposed the entry of the taxi units, but the LTFRB proceeded with acceptance of franchise applications and the eventual operation of the units.
Olowan said since the matter is pending appeal with the Department of Transportation, it is better to await the result.
“For now, we have to comply with due process. Let’s wait for the result of our appeal,” he said.
The city government has been opposing the opening of application for franchise since 2019, but on Jan. 29, LTFRB Chair Martin Delgra ordered the LTFRB-Cordillera to proceed with the application process.
On March 24, the agency allowed the operation of 183 units to operate in Baguio and the Cordillera.
Delgra said the issues raised by the city government in its motion for reconsideration were addressed by the LTFRB en banc.
He said the arguments raised by the city government only concern Baguio and failed to consider the demand for public transportation of other towns and municipalities in the region.
The city government has said the entry of additional taxi units will do more harm than good since the current number is more than sufficient to cater to the needs of commuters in the region. – Jane B. Cadalig