Bernardes issues warning vs. people behind smear campaign

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Sunday, February 21, 2010


DIRECTOR Romulo Bernardes of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LFTRB), yesterday cried foul over the false accusation of some taxi operators that his office received P120,000 for each franchise issued for the replacements of abandoned taxis.

Bernardes urged Richard Cabucos of Richelda Taxi not to spread false accusations against him over radio dyRF.

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Cebu City Councilor Sylvan Jakosalem said he will ask the City Council to summon the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and other concerned agencies to talk about the continued issuance of new taxi franchises despite a moratorium.

He came up with the decision following a meeting with transport officials from the Metro Cebu Taxi Operators Association (MCTOA) yesterday morning.

The MCTOA complained that though there are already so many taxi units in Metro Cebu, the LTFRB is set to approve around 350 new franchises.

Jakosalem said he summoned the transport officials after he was reminded of the concern that the late Rogelio “Jingjing” Osmeña brought up with him two weeks ago.

Jingjing wanted Jakosalem to author a resolution asking President Arroyo that the issuance of the new franchises be looked into.

“He asked me to make a resolution. Mag-estorya lang kuno mi unya kung maayo na siya,” Jakosalem said.

But Jingjing later died of cardiac arrest.

Two weeks

“I told them I was concerned with the news that Jingjing gave me two weeks ago, or before he passed away. I was concerned because of the supposed concern that there are too many taxis in Cebu, and Citom’s complaint of too congested Metro Cebu,” Jakosalem said.

He said the City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) has passed a resolution opposing the granting of new franchises, 150 of which are supposedly as replacements of old taxis.

Jakosalem said the basis for the 200 new franchises was the 2006 Route Measurement Capacity Study. But as alleged by MCTOA, it was for the Asean summit route from Mactan to Cebu City.

Summon

Jakosalem said he will present to the city council the concern of the taxi operators.

It would be up to the members, he said, whether they want to summon the LTFRB officials.

On the accusations against him, Berardes said what they are doing at LTFRB 7 is implementing Memorandum Circular 2009-035 issued and approved by the LTFRB en banc.

Bernardes said Cabucos reportedly forced some taxi operators to sign a manifesto calling for his ouster. Cabucos allegedly also wants the manifesto to be published in a national daily in a form of advertisement.

“I have a reputation and family to protect from any false witness. I am appealing to Richard Cabucos and his cohorts to follow the legal process if they don’t want the issuance of new franchise and refrain from resorting to black propaganda,” Bernardes said.

Memorandum Circular 2009-035 provides for the opening of applications for appropriation of abandoned or expired certificate of public convenience (franchise) in the regional offices.

This means that abandoned taxis with expired franchises can be acquired by any interested parties, including taxi operators like Cabucos.

LTFRB records show that Davao City has 300 abandoned taxi units, Cebu has 234, Iloilo has 200 while Manila has 5,000.

Bernardes said the abandoned taxis will be replaced with brand new units, and LTFRB 7 will earn about P2.4 million from filing fees of P10,000 each.

Bernardes said that when the 234 franchises were offered to the public by LTFRB, taxi operators — Terence Blanco, Richard Corominas, Paquito Obeso and Billy Parco — applied for and were issued franchises for their new units. (EOB/RHM)

Bernardes issues warning vs people behind smear campaign

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