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Council invites petitioners versus transfer of jeepney staging areas

11 September 2020 – Members of the Baguio City Traffic Technical Working Group (BCTTWG) and petitioners against the transfer of the staging and parking areas of public utility jeepneys (PUJs) to some areas within the central business district area will be having a face-off before local legislators during the regular session of the city council on Monday, September 14, 2020.

Local legislators decided to invite the BCTTWG members and the petitioners for them to be appraised on the position of the involved parties before acting on proposals to make the transfer of the staging and parking areas of jeepneys permanent based on the results of the ongoing experimental traffic scheme.

Earlier, the council was in receipt of petitions from barangay officials, transport groups and commuters expressing their opposition to the transfer of the staging and parking areas of jeepneys along Lakandula St., Perfecto St., Jacinto St.., Otek St. and Lower Mabini St. to Gov. Pack Road, Diego Silang St. and Calderon St.

During last Monday’s regular session, Engr. Januario Borillo, head of the traffic and transport management division of the City Engineering Office (CEO), informed local legislators that the one month experimental period of the aforesaid traffic scheme was successful because the conflict areas along Harrison Road, Gen. Luna Road and other major streets within the central business district area was addressed.

He said that the existing traffic scheme based on Executive Order (EO) 114, series of 2020, should be made permanent by the local legislative body because of the successful conduct of the traffic experiment that allowed the central business district to be freed from congestions.

The council pointed out that the presence of the petitioners and the members of the BCTTWG will allow the issues and concerns being raised against the implementation of the traffic scheme to be addressed before the body will decide on whether or not to pursue the approval of an ordinance that will make the scheme permanent.

Some councilors questioned the Baguio City Police Office Traffic Management Unit (BCPO-TMU) for allegedly imposing fines against operators and drivers of jeepneys violating the said scheme since the same has no legal basis because an executive order cannot amend pertinent provisions of an existing ordinance.

Borillo claimed that it is high time that the jeepneys plying different routes outside the city must already be transferred to the peripheries so as not to contribute in the traffic congestions in the central business district area which is one of the major objectives of the traffic experiment.

The CEO official stipulated that on the complaints of commuters having to walk from the different parts of the central business district area just to reach the new staging area of the jeepneys bound to their barangays, the length of the public market to Gov. Pack Road is more or less 500 meters which is within the walkable distance of 750 meters.

For senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs), he advised them to take the jeepneys that are lopping around the central business district area for them to reach their current jeepney staging and parking areas. - Dexter A. See