LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- The Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTRFB) in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) emphasized to local government units (LGUs) the need to have local public transport route plan (LPTRP) for public utility vehicles (PUV) to address colorum vehicles.
“The only way we can see to legalize them is to open the route, legalize the route so that we can legalize the number of units and operation and to do that they have to apply for the developmental route subject to the provisions of the memorandum circular,” said LTFRB-CAR director Engr. Lalaine Sobremonte.
According to the joint memorandum circular, Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in 2017 involve and mandate the LGU to prepare the LPTRP in respective municipalities in recognizing they are in better capacity.
LPTRP is a plan detailing the route network, mode and required number of units per mode for delivering public land transport services prepared by the LGUs and approved by the LTFRB.
During the regular session of Municipal Council of La Trinidad on Tuesday, September 10, the LTFRB-CAR officer said the presence of colorums signified there is a need for public transportation, however, reiterated law mandates colorum vehicles still subject for apprehension.
PUV modernization focal person engineer Elmer Mendoza said deadline for the route plan was extended to June 2019 as it appears nationwide most LGUs did not comply but there is still no submission in most LGU.
“This is the first that the LGU is involves in the preparation of transport plans. They are having a hard time. It is very technical especially on the route survey which lays the tedious process of LPTRP where they have to go out in the streets, survey every passenger for every route that they proposed to,” he said.
“Every LGU is mandated to create their own team to work on the route plans. LPTRP for municipality is confined for routes within the municipality, LPTRP prepared by provincial planning confined routes traversing one municipality to another municipality within the province,” he added.
Pursuant to the DILG-DOTr joint memorandum circular 01 series of 2017, the LGUs should also secure the officials inputs and comments of all stakeholders within their respective jurisdiction.
To date, there is still no LGU from Baguio City and Benguet province who have accomplished their route plans. In the region, Sta. Marcela, Pudtol, and Flora in Apayao province and Bauko and Bontoc in Mt. Province who have accomplished LPTRP.
Councilor Charles Canuto, La Trinidad Liga ng mga barangay president however said for humanitarian and practically wise reasons, colorum vehicles remains a need especially for far flung areas and transport goods those who have heavy loads.
Councilor Renato Tereng, committee on public utilities chairman, said La Trinidad is 80 percent done with its route plan with the challenges remain on the survey.
Tereng added most of the outskirts areas of the Benguet capital town are finished with the central business district remaining adding the technical team will meet next week and a consultation is set with affected stakeholders.