December 8, 2022

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-Cordillera is studying whether to issue an order for the Cordillera Basic Sectors Transport Cooperative (CBSTC), which runs a fleet of modernized jeepneys, to explain why its modern units temporarily stopped operating its Trancoville and Aurora Hill routes since April.

Members of the city council during its June 7 session called the LTFRB’s attention on the absence of the modern jeeps servicing the two barangays and asked whether or not the operator should be sanctioned for stopping operations at will and without proper notice to the public.

Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda said she observed the units suddenly stopped operating and asked if the operator should have first asked permission from the LTFRB.

Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan suggested the abrupt decision of the transport coop not to operate should be sanctioned.

“Taken that they have reasons for not plying, but as a public conveyance, they should reveal that to your (LTFRB) office. We ask that you should look into this,” Olowan said.

LTFRB-Cordillera Director Lalaine Sobremonte said their legal department is studying if there is a need to issue the group a show cause order.

She said CBSTC has informed her office it stopped operating its modern jeeps since April 16 but did not give notice when it will resume operation.

They were informed that the group stopped operating apparently to resolve issues with its drivers regarding salaries and about the loan they took as a group.

CBSTC Secretary-General Rex A. Bayangan, however, assured the council they will resume operation soon, explaining they stopped as they have to re-train their drivers, needed to update the jeeps’ automated fare collection system, and the modern units have also undergone disinfection.

He said the modern jeeps’ stoppage of operation is temporary, and they have 199 traditional jeeps under their fleet plying their service route for Aurora Hill and Trancoville barangays.

Bayangan said the modern units will certainly be back in operation after the Libreng Sakay service contracting program of the LTFRB, which said units and drivers have availed of to ferry health frontliners and authorized persons outside residence for free. – Hanna C. Lacsamana