LTFRB criticized for issuing franchise in Baguio

BAGUIO CITY August 15 – Members of the City Council criticized the Cordillera office of the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for granting to a shuttle company a certificate of public convenience (CPC) to provide the transport requirements of the Loakan-based Texas Instruments Philippines without first securing an exemption from the local government.

The local legislative body returned to the LTFRB-CAR the request of GM Joe Tours and Transport Corporation for exemption from the existing moratorium on the issuance of franchises unacted considering that the regulatory body already granted the requested franchise even without the exemption from the city which is a clear act of allegedly undermining the existing moratorium.

GM Joe Tourist and Transport Services was declared by TI management as the winning bidder for its transportation requirements to service its employees round-the-clock during the scheduled bidding early this year and took over the previous transport provider last July.

Last July 12, 2017, the LTFRB-CAR issued the requested franchise to the transport company as part of the package granted to its officials and employees.

However, LTFRB-CAR officials pointed out the resolution exempting the transportation company from the coverage of the existing moratorium on the issuance of franchises in the city is not part of the requirements to be complied by the company under existing franchising laws, rules and regulations, thus, the issued franchise to GM Joe Tourist and Transport Corporation is valid.

In 1998, the LTFRB issued a Memorandum Circular imposing a moratorium on the issuance of franchises for public utility vehicles in the city to regulate the monstrous traffic congestions around the city due to the increasing number of motor vehicles that ply the various routes around the city.

The local government also imposed a condition that those applying for franchises for public utility vehicles plying various routes in the city must first secure a resolution of exemption from the local legislative body and that the company must have its private parking area in the city to prevent its vehicles from contributing to the overcrowding of the major streets around the central business district.

GM Joe Tourist and Transport Corporation will provide TI with 8 regular buses that will service the route from the Baguio Convention Center parking area to the TI premises in Loakan and vice versa while one of its buses will serve as back-up in case some of its buses will suffer from mechanical trouble.

The City Council also extended an invitation to the officials of the LTFRB-CAR and Department of Transportation and Railways to appear during the local legislative body's regular session on September 18, 2017, to shed light on the matter and to clarify various questions related to other franchising issues and concerns.

By Dexter A. See

 
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