THE City Council on Monday reconsidered its initial approval of a resolution expressing the city’s support on the call of the Baguio-Benguet Jeepney Associations Coalition against the reported Jeepney phaseout.
The resolution which was originally introduced by City Councilors Joel Alangsab and Art Allad-iw sought the city government of Baguio’s support on the position of the said jeepney association coalition against the proposed phase out of traditional jeepneys older than 15 years and to be replaced with electronic jeepneys or other so called “green” versions as alternative modes of transportation, provided that the said jeepney associations will rehabilitate their dilapidated units to conform to standards prescribed by transportation laws on common carriers.
In the said resolution it was explained that the proposed jeepney phaseout measure was a form of restraint of trade or unfair competition considering that it would violate the right to fair competition for small time jeepney operators as well as their right to due process of law since the proposal would be tantamount to the unlawful taking of their very means of livelihood and life support. The measure then cited Section 1 of Article XII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution which provides that, “The goals of the national economy are a more equitable distribution of opportunities, income and wealth; a sustained increase in the amount of goods and services produced by the nation for the benefit of the people; and an expanding productivity as the key to raising the quality of life for all, especially the underprivileged.
The State shall promote industrialization and full employment based on sound agricultural development and agrarian reform, through industries that make full and efficient use of human and natural resources, and which are competitive both in domestic and foreign markets. However, the State shall protect Filipino enterprises against unfair foreign competition and trade practices. In the pursuit of these goals, all sectors of the economy and all regions of the country shall be given optimum opportunity to develop. Private enterprises, including corporations, cooperatives and similar collective organizations shall be encouraged to broaden the base of ownership”.
The resolution further cited that the unique terrain of the city has proven difficult for electronic jeepneys (e-jeepneys) to traverse as proven during previous test runs of the said alternative mode of transportation, adding that the said modernization program will just create a chaotic situation for the city’s present transportation system since it will deprive the riding public with affordable means of transportation.
In the reconsideration made of its previous approval of the said resolution the City Council took note of the manifestation and observation made by City Councilor Faustino Olowan that there has yet been no directive from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for the said phase-out of jeepneys in the country, and the suggestion that the said matter be referred instead to the proper committee instead for study and appropriate recommendation.