PASSENGERS who have flights to catch on the first commercial operations of the Laguindingan Airport on Saturday don’t have to worry as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-10 (LTFRB-10) said more than half a dozen of utility vehicles (UVs) are available to ferry passengers to and from the new airport.
LTFRB regional director Mandangan Darimbang said the Magnum Express has an initial eight UVs that will be plying the downtown-Laguindingan airport route with a fare rate of P80 per person.
The Magnum Express, Darimbang said, will be stationed temporarily along C.M Recto Avenue the Cagayan de Oro City, near the Magnum Radyo broadcast center.
The fare, he said, is a “straight method”, where a P2 per-kilometer rate will be charged for the 40-kilometer distance from the city proper to the Laguindingan airport.
“But this is not fixed since operators can adjust their fares to as high as P100 and as low as P60,” Darimbang said.
He said passengers can also take the buses plying the Cagayan de Oro-Iligan route and take a coaster upon reaching Laguindingan. The airport is about four to five kilometer away from the national highway.
“Passengers who are on a tight budget can take a bus and transfer to an airport coaster upon reaching Laguindingan highway and pay only a minimum P8,” Darimbang told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.
Darimbang also said that aside from the initial eight Magnum Express UVs, seven more shuttle services will also be available and are temporarily stationed in LimKetKai Center.
“We call this the ‘developmental route’ wherein we only have initial 15 shuttle services and 15 utility vehicles (vans) granted. This route will be surveyed by LTFRB in order to assess if there is a need for additional units,” Darimbang said.
The LTFRB, he added, will then have to invite other operators interested to operate shuttle services.
He said 30 airport taxis are already waiting for the final approval of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC).
“There is already a commitment of 30 brand new taxis pending the final approval of DOTC for the exemption I am filing for their circular,” he said.
The DOTC circular, Darimbang said, pertains to their regulations allowing only taxis using LPG tanks to operate as shuttles.
“I was told on Monday that my request for exemption is already approved and I am only waiting for the formalities,” he added.
The airport taxis, Darimbang said, can service passengers and tourists without being deceived by taxi drivers charging higher rates.
Being weary of the “pakyaw” system in Lumbia airport where passengers are charged P300 for the taxi services, Darimbang assured that “this will not happen in Laguindingan.”
Still, Darimbang also urged taxi drivers to abide by the law and strictly use the meters in transporting passengers.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) will be regulating the airport taxi terminals including the flow of traffic inside the airport
However, it is the role of the LTFRB to regulate public utilities especially on the fare matrix and the route.
The procedure, Darimbang said, will be patterned after Manila and Cebu airports where P70 will be charged as the flag-down rate and an additional P4.50 for the succeeding 300 meters.
Darimbang also urged passengers to consider adjusting their time of travel to make allowances due to the distance of the new airport.