Study on city's mass transport system pushed

BAGUIO CITY November 29 – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance creating a team to conduct a feasibility study for the establishment of an appropriate mass or public transport system for the city.

The ordinance authored by Councilor Elaine D. Sembrano stated the team shall be composed of concerned government offices, the transport sector, the academe, the business sector and the public wherein it will be chaired by the City Mayor and co-chaired by the regional director of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA-CAR) with the City Planning and Development Officer, City Budget Officer, City Director of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO), Chairperson of the City Council Committee on Public Utilities, regional director of the DOTR-CAR, regional director of the DPWH-CAR, president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, president of the accredited citywide public transport association, representative of the academe and representative from an accredited non-government organization (NGO) involved in public transportation as members.

Under the proposed ordinance, the team shall have the duties and responsibilities, particularly the formulation of a general framework for the establishment of an efficient local mass public transport system, including the standards and terms of reference in the evaluation of proposals, conduct a feasibility study on the various transportation modes or facilities appropriate for the city, pursuant to local policies and ordinances, invite interested investors, conduct public consultations and evaluate proposals on mass transportation, and submit to the city Council the top three best proposals according to the said standards in terms of reference, for approval of the best and appropriate proposal.

The City Planning and Development office upon approval of the ordinance shall adjust its department's annual budget to include funds for the implementation of the provisions of the local legislative measure.

Sembrano noted that the city is rapidly expanding, with the increase in mobility and improvement of the peoples' lives, overwhelmingly changing the city's socio-economic landscape and the surge in the number of city transient and permanent dwellers is a testament to the said fact and transportation is one of the sectors greatly affected.

According to her, existing city policies on traffic and transportation are apparently unsuccessful to address the said issue compromising the convenience of the public and the long queue and the long hours of waiting for a ride is unsightly, expressing an inefficient local transport system.

She claimed such everyday struggles, especially of working and business people, sap the psycho-social health and productivity of those affected, thus, the local government needs to seriously address the issue on traffic and transportation pursuant to the mission and vision statement of the city.

The law empowers local governments to be self-reliant and shall continue exercising the powers and discharging the duties and functions currently vested upon them and the same shall also discharge the functions and responsibilities of national agencies and offices devolved to them pursuant to the Local /government code.

By Dexter A. See

 
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