December 6, 2023

Oppositions on additional taxi franchises are premature

After saying that the 200 additional taxi franchises application allowed by the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board for Baguio is already a “done deal,” the city mayor is now saying, based on a press release, that he is opposing the same 200 taxi franchises application allowed by LTFRB under MC 2019-016 and/or Resolution 117, s. 2020.
Similarly, the city council after being silent for more than 20 years on the issuance of public utility vehicle franchises by LTFRB in particular by the regional director, is now loudly opposing the application for additional taxi franchises allowed by LTFRB presently under consideration by LTFRB-Cordillera.
Unfortunately, aside from lacking with proper basis, these oppositions by the city mayor and the city council are premature.
All this time, the applicants have just filed their applications for qualification submitting therefore the legal, technical, and financial capability documents required under MC 2019-016 / Resolution 117, to qualify as applicants for certificate of public conveniences (CPCs).
The proper time to oppose applicants or prospective grantees of franchises is upon the filing of the application for issuance of CPC which, under MC 2019-016, comes after the issuance of notice of selection to the applicants who have qualified.
Thus, these oppositions being aired in public by the mayor and the councilors should not deter LTFRB-Cordillera from continuing its proceedings of the applications since it is given the task under the validly promulgated MC 2019-016, to conduct the selection process and thereafter direct the applicants selected to submit their applications for issuance of CPC together with the necessary documents required.
Otherwise put, this is not the time for interested oppositors to come forward since the applicants have not yet filed their applications for CPC but merely applications for qualification.
However, if any oppositor should desire to challenge the legality of MC 2019-016 and/or Resolution 117, s. of 2020, he/she/ it may do so by filing the proper petition in court, even at this time.
To run the higher ups and exert political clout and influence to bar the implementation of MC 2019-016 or Resolution 117 is inappropriate hence, beyond my compensation.
Fair play demands that the applicants who had spent their precious time and money in compliance with MC 2019-016 and/or Resolution 117, s. of 2020 deserve to be heard in the proper forum at the proper time. — JAMES S. VALEROS, Baguio City