IN AN attempt to overcome the continuing challenges posed by traffic and transportation issues in the local, legislator Elaine Sembrano is recommending the creation of a team to look into the possibility of establishing a mass public transport system aimed at finally addressing the burgeoning traffic congestion in the city and alleviate the inconvenience it has caused to the riding public.
In her proposed ordinance, City Councilor Sembrano noted that with the rapid expansion and modernization of the city which has seen an increase in the mobility and development of peoples’ lives as well as drastically changing the city’s socio-economic landscape the area of transportation has been one of the sectors of society that has been greatly affected.
She further explained in her proposed measure that existing policies of the city on traffic and transportation have been apparently unsuccessful in addressing traffic woes which has greatly prejudiced the comfort and convenience of the riding public.
As proof of such failure, she pointed out in her proposed ordinance the fact of long queues by commuters in the various jeepney loading areas who have to wait long hours just to get a ride and which, apart from being unsightly, serves as a physical manifestation of the inefficiency of the present local transport system. She added that “such everyday struggles, especially of working and business people drain the psycho-social health and productivity of those affected”.
She then cited in her proposal Section 17 of Republic Act 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991 which states, “(a) Local government units shall endeavor to be self-reliant and shall continue exercising the powers and discharging the duties and functions currently vested upon them. They shall also discharge the functions and responsibilities of national agencies and offices devolved to them pursuant to this Code. Local government units shall likewise exercise such other powers and discharge such other functions and responsibilities as are necessary, appropriate, or incidental to efficient and effective provisions of the basic services and facilities enumerated herein. Xxx (4) For a City: All the services and facilities of the municipality and province, and in addition thereto, the following: (1) Adequate communication and transportation facilities”.
With this in mind, Councilor Sembrano is recommending in her proposed legislative measure for the creation of a team that will conduct a feasibility study to determine the suitability of establishing an appropriate mass public transport system in the City of Baguio.
The team proposed to be created shall be composed of concerned government offices, the transport sector, the academe, the business sector and other stakeholders and shall function to, (a) formulate a general framework for the establishment of an efficient local mass/public transport system, including the standards and terms of reference in the evaluation of proposals, (b) conduct a feasibility study on the various transportation modes/facilities appropriate for the City of Baguio, in accordance with local policies and ordinances, (c) invite interested investors, conduct public consultation and evaluate proposals on mass transportation and (d) submit to the City Council the top three best proposals according to the set standards and terms of reference for approval of the best and appropriate proposal.
Finally under the said proposed ordinance the City Planning and Development Office will be directed to adjust its annual department budget to include funds for the implementation of the said measure.