Suspending or Scraping LTFRB M.C. No. 2019-016 is Unfair and Unjust

Following the issuance of Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2019-016 by the LTFRB on 26 March 2019, allowing 200 additional taxi units to operate on the route Baguio City / La Trinidad to any point in CAR, four (4) legal entities, a corporation and three (3) transport cooperatives, filed Applications for Qualification with LTFRB-CAR to qualify for issuance of Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC).
After evaluation by the Pre-Qualification Committee of LTFRB-CAR, these applications which did not qualify are now with the Board en banc in Quezon City for further deliberation and review for possible grant of Notice to Apply for issuance of franchise or CPC.
In the interim, oppositions against the implementation of MC No. 2019-016 from existing taxi operators and the Local Government Units particularly Baguio City have mounted despite the fact that implementations thereof have already begun. The Baguio City Council has in fact introduced a Proposed Resolution, (PR Nr. 0095-19) opposing the implementation of the MC. And, no less than City Mayor Magalong who is also opposing the grant of CPC thereof has disclosed that DOTr Secretary Tugade, after his meeting with him, has called on the LTFRB to suspend the issuance of the 200 franchises applied for under MC 2019-016.
Meanwhile, two (2) of the applicants for issuance of franchise under this MC, that is, ERMADRADA Taxi Transport Corp. (ERMADRADA for short) and TRUSTED BLIST ALLIANCE OF TRANSPORT MULTI-PURPOSE COOPERATIVE (TBATMPC for short) who have completed the requirements for qualification and who have invested millions for the purchase of fifty (50) units each and to show their financial capabilities or networth as required by LTFRB are now worried that MC No. 2019-016 will thereby be suspended or scrapped by virtue of an alleged Draft Order by DOTr Secretary Tugade to Chairman Delgra of the LTFRB.
For, it will be noted that MC No. 2019-016 though issued by LTFRB pursuant to Department Order No. 2017-011 (Omnibus Franchising Guidelines) and Executive Order No. 202 empowering the LTFRB to issue rules prescribing and regulating routes and modes of service, as well as, having consulted concerned stakeholders to include the City of Baguio and determined public need to exist owing to the cancellation of the 183 abandoned taxi franchises, still the MC is being opposed by the City Mayor and the City Council for reasons that it violated the moratorium, that the existing units of taxi are sufficient to serve the city and that the traffic and parking problem will be aggravated for which they do not.
Come to think of it, however, considering that more than one-half of the public utility vehicles, mostly taxis, are operating with illegal franchises issued in violation of the moratorium, filing a petition for cancellation of the thousands illegal CPCs issued in violation of the moratorium since 1996 would be a better option for the City Council and the City Mayor now to effectively declog traffic congestion rather than just opposing and disallowing the additional units of applicants who have fully complied with the requirements of MC No. 2019-016 which is unfair and unjust.


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