BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on third and final reading a proposed ordinance prohibiting inter-municipality public utility jeepneys (PUJs) from picking up passengers along existing Baguio PUJ routes and providing penalties for violators of the same.
The ordinance authored by all members of the local legislative body stated inter-municipality vehicles refer to those public utility jeepneys or vehicles that come or leave from its original route or terminal area in a municipality or city or province and enters another city or province to deliver its passengers or baggage to its final point of destination but passing through the route of PUJ franchise holders within the city.
Under the proposed ordinance, all public utility inter-municipality vehicles shall not be allowed to load passengers within the city and along routes already covered by public utility vehicles granted franchise by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to operate within the city.
The ordinance provided any aggrieved party may initiate or lodge his or her complaint to the proper court or to the LTFRB for proper disposition.
However, the penalties to be imposed by the LTFRB for violation of traffic rules and regulations shall be distinct from the penalties that will be provided by the ordinance and any findings of liability by the LTFRB shall require the violator to pay the corresponding penalty to the City Treasury Office.
Any public utility vehicle operator, driver or owner proven to have violated the ordinance shall be fined P1,000 for the first offense, P2,000 for the second offense and P3,000 for the third offense.
Resolution No. 115, series of 2014 was passed supporting Resolution No. 01, series of 2014 of the Traffic and Transportation Management Committee (TTMC) entitled “Prescribing the Guidelines on the Operation of Public Utility Jeepneys Originating from Outside the City of Baguio (Inter-Municipality PUJs) with Destination Towards Baguio.”
Despite this resolution, the ordinance noted the PUJs coming from outside still ignore the tenets of the resolutions.
Earlier, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Baguio ruled Resolution No. 115, series of 2014, by its temporary nature will be revised, amended or abandoned, and the court acceded that even during rush hours, commuters with the bulk comprising students and employees line up in long queues with no jeepneys in sight. In such extraordinary situation when there are no available jeepneys with intra-city routes, it may be highly impractical to have an absolute prohibition on all jeepneys with inter-city routes not to pick up passengers and perhaps, a modification of the resolution to accommodate instances as cited may be helpful.
By Dexter A. See