THERE is another plan to remove buses away from the CBD particularly in Gov. Pack Road. While it seems like a good idea, it is what it is supposed to be. Plan for some time now was for the bus companies to relocate. In fact have their own.
It is not up to the city to provide parking for any of them. That is not the business of the city. The Department of Transportation shall only issue a Certificate of Conveyance (COC) to buses plying the city if only they would have their own parking area. Only Victory Liner has complied to this. I have learned that Solid North has found a new home.
What surprises me is that most of the buses found parking within the area may not even have the COC to be in the city. What I have learned sometime ago was that most of the buses other than Victory Liner, Dagupan Bus and Philippine Rabbit, may not have a franchise to operate in the city, the rest I learned were for Benguet. A pick up is only allowed in the city, but their LINE is in Benguet.
Former DOTC RD Atty. Bong Mandapat reminded me that buses may only be allowed to stage in an area not more than 30 minutes and just to pick up passengers but not to park.
Time was when the city treasurer would have tickets for buses to enter and park for a while and leave when ready. A fee was collected. It seems that today there are many buses now all parked until the night time. I don't know why.
I too have learned that some companies may have amended their lines by getting approval from the local government units particularly the mayor. During my time, I would not allow any. We needed all the space we can get out of the area. Some will even buy an old line of another company and use it as their own. Amending it by inserting "north" beside the company name. I may be wrong but it seems to be the case.
Many may have forgotten that there is a standing moratorium for any public utility vehicle to be issued a franchise for Baguio. Thus everyone would have used the franchise issued from another place as far as Pampanga or Ilocos Regions but ply Baguio to any point of Luzon. Yes I know it's kinda weird. But that's the reality we face today.
I guess that is why it was only Atty. Mandapat that stayed the longest, the rest have been removed or transferred because of various complaints and violations. We were a formidable team together, we went head on with various transport companies over various violations. So with the City Council then.
Trucks were apprehended along Kennon Road. GT Express vans were relocated and monitored to have their own parking areas and so too were the buses. Even taxis are not allowed to be seen parking in the city streets. All had to have their own garages for parking. Tickets should be given to offenders of PUV's parking anywhere. That should not be the case.
In fairness to SM the existing construction right now would have been a Central Staging Terminal and parking area for private vehicles before going to SM, Session Road and Burnham Park. If Juan remembers there was a master plan to pedestrianize Session Road, thus the need for a parking area. Taxis and buses were supposed to just pick up passengers and leave and not park.
I just don't know what happened to all of the things that were supposed to be. It's frustrating to have to see all these being given proposals again when in the first place, everything was in place.
Parking is definitely an issue of today. It always was. If Juan remembers we had a long and difficult battle with a parking company, until today I still have to deal with cases filed against me from it. But I had a job to do. I listened to what the people wanted, we soon closed it down.
Parking is also money making. Most if not all buildings may be guilty of not having provisions for parking. Most of the issues in the City Council at one time were excel pitons for parking. Every Juan needs a place to park.
I had learned of a recently of a public official involved in a controversy regarding parking in the city particularly in Burnham Park. If this will be pursued it can affect ones political career, this especially with an election coming.
The proposal for parking or staging for buses outside the CBD and along the city periphery is being revived. That's good. Again there were plans for it. What must be looked into is the Certificate of Conveyance for any of the buses to be relocated to another area. Remember if an amendment is to be made it might again create another problem.
It is all still possible if a sit down or coordination with DOTr is first given priority. It will remind the LGU about what should be and shouldn't be. It's that simple.