CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Taxi operators in Northern Mindanao who wants to avail of a franchise for their units are urged to organized themselves into either a cooperative or a corporation, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-10 (LTFRB-10) regional director Aminoden Guro said over the weekend.
This city has more than 2,000 existing taxi units, but Guro said they have opened franchise for 250 new units provided operators register as a member of a larger group such as a cooperative or a corporation.
Based on memorandum circular 2019-014, an applying entity must have at least 50 brand new taxi units before it could be granted a franchise.
Aside from that, the applicant should have a spacious garage located within the area of operation to house the taxi units, he said.
The franchise applicant, Guro said, must openly declare how many units they intend to apply in order for the LTFRB Board to determine when to stop accepting applicants.
Another directive from the Department of Transportation, Department Order 2017-011, or the omnibus guidelines on the planning and identification of public road transportation services and franchise issuance also stipulates the creation of public transport routes and services to ensure the convenience of the riding public.
These DOTr order and memorandum circular are meant to provide better public utility services to the commuters, he said.
Guro also said Executive Order 202 gave the LTFRB the power to prescribe and regulate routes of service, economically viable capacities and zones or areas or operation of public land transportation services provided by motorized vehicles.
The LTFRB, he said, also requires taxis must be equipped with a closed-circuit television camera, dashboard camera (dashcam), global positioning system, and internet connection.
At present, they are only requiring the dashcam, but by the third quarter of this year, Guro said they expect taxi units to have those upgrades already installed.
“Taxi units must be compliant or we will not confirm their franchise,” he said, adding that the Land Transportation Office will also not renew the taxis’ registration unless they are confirmed by the LTFRB.
Guro said they are also addressing the issue of “colorum” or taxis that are operating illegally, which have been proliferating in Cagayan de Oro.
But he said taxi drivers and operators can regulate themselves to solve the problem of taxis without franchise and other necessary permits from the LTFRB.
“They can police their own ranks. Taxi drivers who can catch those ‘colorum’ taxis can report these to us or to the police, so we can impound their vehicles,” he said.
Guro said they need the help of the taxi drivers and operators to go after those operating illegally since the agency is understaffed.(davaotoday.com)