BAGUIO CITY – City officials requested the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to extend the period for filing of applications for consolidation of the different transport groups in the city.
Under Resolution No. 285, series of 2021, local legislators stated that during previous deliberations that had been conducted, it was manifested that the Cordillera office the LTFRB (LTFRB-CAR) should not only consider the livelihood of the affected transport cooperatives but also the services provided by the cooperatives to the public.
Further, the council pointed out that a provisional authority should be issued by the LTFRB both to those who consolidated and those who did not consolidate their franchises to allow their continuous operations providing quality transport services to the public.
The body asserted that the LTFRB should use humanitarian consideration to issue provisional authority to both those who consolidated and those who did not consolidate their franchises to allow them to continue their established sources of livelihood because of the present negative impact of the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to the overall economic situation in the not only in the city but also in the whole world.
Earlier, the Mines View Gibraltar Transport Cooperative wrote the local legislative body requesting for the appropriate intervention to convince the LTFRB central office to allow its field office, LTFRB-CAR, to accept the application for consolidation of units in Baguio City which were filed after March 31, 2021 on the route Mines View Plaza vice versa in compliance to Department Order No. 2017-11.
According to the council, with the existing public health emergency situation as declared by President Rodrigo Duterte, government transactions take longer than usual and even travels are restricted, thus, such conditions are contributory in the failure of the cooperative to submit its application on time.
On June 19, 2017, the Department of Transportation and Railways (DOTR) issued Department Order No. 2017-011 or the omnibus guidelines on the planning and identification of public road transportation services and franchise issuance otherwise known as the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program which envisions a restructured, modern, well-managed and environmentally sustainable transport sector where drivers and operators have stable, sufficient and dignified livelihood while commuters get to their destinations quickly, safely and comfortably.
On December 19, 2019, the LTFRB issued Memorandum Circular No. 2019-066 or the simplified process for the application for consideration of individual and existing franchise holders in compliance with the PUV modernization program that prescribed the deadline of applications for consolidation on June 30, 2020.
However, on July 10, 2020, the LTFRB issued Memorandum Circular No. 220-027 extending the period for the filing of application for consolidation up to December 31, 2020 because of the declaration of President Duterte of the national health emergency placing the whole country under community quarantine which had significantly affected mobility of the people and the office operations of LTFRB nationwide.
By Dexter A. See
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis