BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong admitted that the 200 taxi franchises on fleet management that was previously approved by the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is already a done deal.
However, the local chief executive claimed that the local governments continues to do its best to oppose the issuance of the other 200 taxi franchises that is pending action by the LTFRB considering its expected serious repercussions to the prevailing traffic condition in the different parts of the city.
He added that he is trying his best to schedule meetings with the LTFRB top officials to raise the local government’s vehement objection to the approval of the additional taxi franchises considering that it was done without consultations with the concerned stakeholders aside from the fact that it is in violation of the existing moratorium on the issuances of franchises that have routes in the city.
The city mayor expressed optimism that LTFRB officials will heed the call of the local government by not issuing the remaining 200 taxi franchises so as not to further contribute in the worsening traffic congestions around the city.
Earlier, the LTFRB approved the issuance of some 200 taxi franchises on fleet management that will be applied for by organized transport cooperatives or corporations apart from reportedly granting the opening of some additional 200 franchises in lieu of some 195 taxi units that already ceased to exist.
According to him, the local government was able to ventilate its opposition to the approval of the taxi franchises that will operate in the city but it is unfortunate that LTFRB officials allegedly refused to listen to the plight of the city.
The approved taxi franchises on fleet management will be applied for by duly accredited transport cooperatives and corporations wherein each cooperative or corporation will be able to apply for the grant of some 50 franchises for their members.
Currently, there are over 3,200 approved taxi franchises plying the route of the city based on available data from the LTFRB-CAR.
Aside from the approved taxi franchises in the city, the LTFRB plans to open the operation of premium taxis using high-end vehicles to help in boosting the continuous growth of the local tourism industry.
The LTFRB is mandated to issue the certificates of public convenience or franchises for the operation of various types of public utility vehicles that will operate in the different parts of the country to ensure that the transport needs of the people will be effectively and efficiently provided by the government in partnership with the operators of the same.
Members of the city’s transport sector also expressed their vehement opposition to the approved taxi franchises in the city because of its projected serious repercussions to the prevailing traffic congestions, especially within the central business district area, wherein the proposed effective traffic management of the local government will be significantly affected.
By Dexter A. See