Measured from the fact that new franchises were still being issued by LTFRB Region 1 (later becoming LTFRB-CAR in 2003) despite the prohibition therefor by both DOTC and the LTFRB, it appears that my letter to Chairman Lantion and Secretary Mendoza requesting for investigation of irregularities in the LTFRB (as alluded to in Part 1 of this article) did not cause even a tiny ripple of fear among LTFRB personnel, the ninja fixers in particular, as to deter them from committing continued irregularities in franchising.
This is also notwithstanding that Baguio City Council has already passed numerous Resolutions to contain the unwarranted issuance of PUV franchises by LTFRB to control the serious traffic congestion already building-up in the city in 2005. Among which Resolutions were the following:
1. Res. 231, s. of 1992: Urging the LTFRB to suspend the grant of new franchises to any public utility vehicle plying the route in Baguio City. (by Hon. Edilberto Claravall)
2. Res. 012, s. of 1994: Appealing to President Fidel Ramos, the lack of support from the LTFRB to previous resolutions urging the LTFRB to suspend the grant of new franchises to any public utility vehicle plying their route in the City of Baguio.
(by Hon. Edilberto Claravall)
3. Res. 316, s. of 1995: Directing the City Legal Officer to file, for and in behalf of the City, an urgent petition with the LTFRB and DOTC to stop, oppose and suspend the processing of all applications for franchises of PUVs in Baguio City. (by Hon. Nicasio Palaganas)
4. Res. 171, s. of 1997: Requesting the LTFRB to deny petitions for amendment of franchises to make Baguio City the authorized route or venue of operations to control the issuance of new and additional taxi and PUJ franchises in Baguio City. (by Hon. Nicasio Palaganas)
5. Res. 236, s. of 1998: Requesting the NBI to investigate Reg. Director Daniel Tapia of the LTFRB and all others involved in the unabated proliferation of public utility vehicles in the City of Baguio. (by Hon. Richard Cariño)
6. Res. 292, s. of 1998: Prohibiting issuance of new franchises in routes entering and touching BLIST. (This resolution became the basis for LTFRB in issuing the moratorium Memorandum Circular No. 98-026), by Hon. Richard Cariño
7. Res. 158, of 1998: Seeking the immediate ouster of Reg. Director Daniel Tapia, LTFRB Region 1 and declaring him as persona non grata in the City of Baguio for acts inimical to the interest of the people of Baguio. (by Hon. Richard Cariño)
And because circumvention and gross violation continued to persist despite the above resolutions, the City Council further passed the following measures:
8. Res. 050, s. of 1999: Strongly urging the LTFRB en banc to review motu propio the actions of LTFRB, Region 1 which granted the CPCs and after due notice and hearing, to cancel or recall all CPCs found to be irregularly or fraudulently issued by the LTFRB, Region 1. (by Hon. Richard Carino)
9. Res. 251, s. 2001: Authorizing Hon, Richard Cariño and Hon. Delfin Balajadia to collate all necessary documents and evidences and file the necessary complaints against erring public officials of the LTFRB involved in the issuance of new franchises affecting Baguio City in spite of the moratorium.
10. Res. 317, s. of 2001: Interposing vigorous opposition to all franchise applications now pending in the LTFRB Reg. 1 which affect Baguio City and in violation of MC 98-026 and other LTFRB Memorandum Circulars.(by Hon. Edilberto Tenefrancia)
11. Res. 109, s. 2005: requesting the Hon. Elena Bautista Chairman, LTFRB to suspend the issuance of new franchises for taxi units in the City of Baguio and other BLIST areas. (by Hon. Leandro Yangot)
With all these measures taken by the Baguio City Council, who would ever think that the moratorium when conceptualized by the LTFRB from these resolutions would fail. Probably nobody. But it did anyway, why? The reasons perhaps was that we residents of the city, relying mainly in the ability of LTFRB to regulate public transportation being its function, failed to anticipate that one day there will be ninjas that will come to destroy the noble intent and purpose of the conceived moratorium.
While personnel of the present LTFRB-CAR may have shown some improvements in their dealings with the public, they are not sufficient indication that all is well in that agency for, there are still some hidden acts by a few seemingly acting as ninjas. Thus, I am constrained to chronicle highlights of the exploits and adventures of the ninja fixers in the past that have bearings on the cause of traffic congestion in the city and for the benefit of the uninitiated stakeholders (including members of the City Council) all puzzled and asking why congestion was not controlled despite the moratorium. Here they are, following:
In this region before the advent and creation of LTFRB-CAR in 2003, car dealers in Baguio City could easily obtained franchises for their units they would sell to the buyers wanting to operate taxi service amid the existing moratorium. As it happened, liaison employees of the car dealer would go down early in the morning to San Fernando, La Union where the former LTFRB Regional Office was then located with only an envelope on his left hand with instruction from his boss to hand it over to a designated ninja fixer of the Regional Director or to the Director himself, to facilitate the purpose. And before noon of the same day, without having filed any application or paid a filing fee therefor, the liaison employee would go up to Baguio with a copy of Decision or franchise on his right hand to be given to the car dealer as instructed by the attending ninja fixer. Naturally, the Decision or franchise issued in this case would not be recorded in the docket of the LTFRB until in the future a transaction in the case would come up such as: Dropping and Substitution, Extension of Validity or Sale and Transfer of CPC wherein a verification of the case record is essentially required for the Record. Here the same ninja fixer or a new one would come to the rescue to facilitate the filing of Motion to Docket arranged with the Regional Director and the Records Officer since this type of Motion is not authorized as a pleading under the Rules of the Board.
In sum, it is estimated that hundreds, if not thousands of franchises mostly for taxis were granted in this manner in the more than 3 years stay of a Regional Director in his regional turf. Although fraudulent, void and illegally issued, these units covered by such franchises continue to operate in CAR and now the major cause of debilitating traffic congestion and pollution in Baguio City.