PUJs to be exempted from number coding scheme implementation

BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance seeking to amend provisions of Ordinance No. 01, series of 2003 as amended, to include under the exemptions, public utility jeepneys (PUJs) plying various routes in the city.

The ordinance authored by Councilor Elmer O. Datuin stated that the city’s number coding ordinance shall not apply to chartered mini-buses from outside the city used for Lakbay-Aral or excursion purposes; government-owned motor vehicles with red plates in the performance of official functions; vehicles of the Philippine Postal Corporation (PPC) used for mail delivery, armored cars used by banks for bulk money transfer, motor vehicles used in cases of emergency posing danger to life and limb, water delivery trucks when assisting in fire control, service vehicles of public utility companies performing emergency repairs within the declared number coding zone, school services registered with the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) ferrying pre-school, elementary and high school students from 6 am to 9 am and 2 pm to 6 pm in schools located within the number coding zone, private motor vehicles and chartered public utility vehicles of visitors, tourists, vacationers, or participants of sanctioned activities such as conventions, conferences and assemblies and public utility jeepneys operating in the city.

The ordinance tasked the Baguio City Police Office–Traffic Management Unit to oversee the implementation of the amended provisions of the city’s number coding scheme, one of the major traffic schemes being enforced to reduce the monstrous traffic jams around the city.

The ordinance noted there are reported clamors from residents of numerous barangays in the city on the alleged shortage of public utility vehicles serving their routes, especially during rush hours, causing stress and inconvenience to the thousands of stranded passengers in the different parts of the city.

Further, the said scenario is evidenced by the reported day-to-day occurrence of long queues in many jeepney terminals around the central business district area.

The ordinance stipulated the increase of the city’s population and the different barangays calls for additional public utility jeepney units to serve the needs of the riding public, however, due to the implementation of a moratorium on new franchises, there is a need to exempt the jeepneys from the coverage of the number coding scheme to address the continuous increase in the demand for transport services of the residents.

Ordinance No. 01, series of 2003 otherwise known as the Baguio City Number Coding Scheme was passed to reduce the volume of motor vehicles in the central business district, however, exemptions were also provided so as not to impede the smooth delivery of basic services and such exemptions were provided under the provisions of the ordinance but it did not include public utility jeepneys as one of those exempted from the coverage of the local law.

The ordinance added that the local government remains committed to safeguard the well-being and safety of its constituency and is empowered, through its local legislative body, to enact ordinances regulating traffic on all streets within its jurisdiction, including the adoption of programs and projects concerning road management and use pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations./Dexter A. See