February 27, 2024

It is as absurd as the stringent requirement of Land Transportation Franchi-sing and Regulatory Board in Memorandum 2019-016 mandating submission of documents for the actual units proposed upon filing of application for qualification, instead of a pro-forma invoice as traditionally required in previous cases to take care of dire consequences in the event that applications are stalled or not given due course.
It will be noted that following the issuance by LTFRB of MC 2019-016 on March 26 opening 200 additional taxi franchises for Baguio City and Cordillera, four applications filed by three cooperatives and one corporation for minimum 50 units each were accepted by LTFRB-Cordillera. Unfortunately, these applications were questionably disqualified by the pre-qualification committee of LTFRB. Hence, the cases were forwarded to the Board en banc for resolution upon review on appeal.
In the interim, due to the personal representation of Baguio Mayor Magalong with Transportation Sec. Arthur Tugade, the issuance of franchises in Baguio City under MC 2019-016 was ordered suspended by LTFRB Chair Martin Delgra.
Later, however, the suspension was lifted thus, the protracted deliberation of the pending applications for qualification was pushed through.
Ironically, the Board en banc failed to resolve the cases based on their respective merits and status under MC 2019-016. It appears that the Board en banc is now bent on either amending or scrapping the circular and start again the proceedings in the grant of additional franchises in Baguio City from zero.
It is believed that whether amending or scrapping MC 2019-016 and starting the procedures of application again from zero, this option is not only absurd and illogical. It is also unfair and unjust to the two applicants who have already complied with all requirements of the Board and investing hundreds of millions thereof, in the process.
It is thus the humble recommendation of the undersigned that whether amending and scrapping the MC and starting the proceedings of applications from zero (if it were truly the desired option of the Board en banc), the Board en banc adopts and applies the time-honored Doctrine of Operative Fact – to be fair and just to the two applicants who have fully complied the requirements in their applications imposed by the Board during the existence of the amended or rescinded MC 2019-016. — JAMES S. VALEROS, Baguio City