BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Benjamin Magalong has formally asked Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra III to withdraw Memorandum Circular No. 2019-06 which mandates the opening of additional taxi franchises in the city saying it negates the city’s efforts to fix its burgeoning traffic problem.
“(We) vehemently oppose the said (circular as it) essentially breaches the battle of the City of Baguio against the worsening traffic congestion which is at the core of the (15)-point agenda of this Administration,” the mayor stressed in a letter to Delgra dated Aug. 8.
“Needless to state, the impending growth of vehicular units plying within the City of Baguio will have significant impact in the already problematic traffic situation that is yet to be addressed through aggressive traffic management plan.”
The mayor also bemoaned the failure of the agency to consult with the city before issuing the order.
“While it is true that the authority to issue new franchises lies with the LTFRB, the management and planning of traffic impact is at the hands of the Local Government Unit (LGU) (hence), prudence dictates that any acts, memorandum, circular and resolutions of the LTFRB affecting LGUS such as the (city) should be coordinated with the latter before its issuance to avoid the inevitable clash in our respective policy direction to the detriment of the public,” the mayor said.
The mayor also received a petition signed by close to 350 taxi operators, drivers and stakeholders in the city also opposing the opening of additional taxi franchises in the city.
The petitioners said the LTFRB move will exacerbate the traffic condition, cause environmental hazards and economic problems.
In his letter, the mayor noted that in 1995, the city approved Resolution No. 316 series of 1995 which directed the city legal officer to file an urgent petition with the LTFRB and the Dept. of Transportation and Communication to stop, oppose and suspend the processing of all applications for franchise of public which prompted the LTFRB Central Office to issue Memorandum Circular No. 96-002 dated January 10, 1996 suspending the acceptance of applications for PUV services in the city.
He said this was followed by consistent moves to oppose new PUV applications in the city.
“With the foregoing, it is most respectfully requested that (MC No. 2019-06 be recalled by the (LTFRB). Your immediate favorable response is highly anticipated,” the mayor said./Aileen P. Refuerzo