THE Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Railways in Cordillera announced the continuation of the ongoing taxi calibration after a March 14, 2018 decision was made by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) central office.

DOTr-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) director Eduardo Natividad made the announcement following the decision of the board after its deliberation on the request for deferment of the calibration.

"Aside from the continuity of the calibration, the board clarified cellphones can be used as GPS as long as the company would have been accredited for the GPS installation, while online platforms will also have to get accreditation from the LTFRB," Natividad explained.

Natividad clarified the continuity of calibration and the installation of other devices must be compliant to the guidelines under the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines (OFG) for taxi operators wanting to be calibrated, and for them to be able to apply the new taxi fare.

The OFG under department order 2017-011specifies the devices for taxis under the memorandum circular 2017-026 guidelines in the calibration and resealing of taxi meters.

"Based on the memorandum circular of the LTFRB, there are dates on when taxi operators are supposed to comply, the memorandum circular gave the DOTR-CAR the opportunity to make its own schedule on when the designated plate number ending would be calibrated as long as it would be before the May 2018 period," the regional director said.

If taxi operators and drivers fail to undergo calibration of their meters based of the prescribed dates, a P200 per day of delay will be charged against them for late calibration and resealing.

Natividad clarified there is no monopoly of suppliers for the GPS under the OFG as it underwent the accreditation process of the LTFRB central office under particular guidelines where the 19 companies were able to comply with.

"These GPS suppliers accredited by the LTFRB central office were able to install their devices from any part of the country. Here in CAR, we do not have the power to accredit these devises. The LTFRB central office precisely did not want any bidding to be done in the regional offices because it maybe subject to doubts of preferred bidders," Natividad reiterated.

The DOTr and LTFRB Cordillera clarified only P500 is being collected as prescribed fee set by the LTFRB for testing and resealing with the issuance of a corresponding receipt, while charges for calibration is determined by the three accredited companies operating in Baguio City following their own business enterprise model.