THE Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the decision of the Regional Trial Court Branch 41-Bacolod City on the issue allowing public utility jeepneys (PUJ) plying the Alijis-Central Market route to enter John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation (JBLCF) area.

Bacolod City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan said the case arose from the passage of City Ordinance No. 305, which allowed PUJs access to the JBLCF premises. The ordinance was passed during the term of former mayor Luzviminda Valdez.

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Claiming that the ordinance is an encroachment on its route, the Greenplains-Pauline-Paghidaet-Katilingban Tricycle and Trisikad Operators and Drivers Association Inc (GPPK-TODA) and the Federation of Bacolod City Tricycle Operators and Drivers Assn, Inc. (FEBACDA) filed a civil case against the city represented by Valdez and the City Council represented by former vice mayor Ramiro Garcia and its members.

The plaintiffs said that the ordinance was discriminatory and that the city exceeded its authority in passing such ordinance.

RTC Branch 41 dismissed the case but the plaintiffs appealed the decision.

However, the CA upheld the lower court's decision in its order signed by Associate Justice Edgardo de los Santos dated Feb. 6, 2009.

The CA said that CO No. 305 is a valid law, which means the City Council did not exceed its authority in enacting such law because the primordial consideration in passing the ordinance is to enhance public convenience, especially to cater the needs of the transporting public, which include the students, teachers and other people who want to access the school and the area. (Carla N. Cañet)