Issue of May 13, 2018

70th Courier Anniversary Issue
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Suspension of taxi fare increase, calibration called for

The city council on Monday considered resolutions 058, s. 2018 and 114, s. 2018 as the body’s motion for reconsideration to the decision dated Oct. 4, 2017 of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, which granted the petition for increase of fares for taxi service in Metro Manila and the provinces; and the LTFRB Memorandum Circular 2017-026, which provides for the implementing guidelines for calibration and sealing/resealing of taxi meter for the 2017 fare adjustment.

The motion hopes to elicit the wisdom and understanding of the LTFRB towards an appropriate remedy or a win-win solution on the continuing appeal of the riding public who are experiencing the financial burden due to the taxi fare increase. Employees working on night duties are the most affected by the increase, since a big part of their salary is spent on daily taxi fares going to or from their work place.

The consolidated motion requests for the suspension of the implementation of Memorandum Circular 2017-026, which requires the installation of Global Navigation Satellite System receiver, free Wi-Fi, and closed-circuit television camera prior to the calibration and the sealing/resealing of meters of all taxi units within the city; and for the suspension and review of the implementation of taxi fare hike in the locality.

Even taxi drivers are supporting the petition because of the pass-on scheme wherein most operators are increasing the taxi boundary to offset or recover their expenses on additional taxi accessories required by the circular, thus decreasing the take-home earnings of drivers. There is also a gradual decrease of taxi commuters, as many of them now prefer to ride the jeepneys.

The operators want exemption from the Wi-Fi requirement and the removal of additional charge of P2 per minute from point of origin to destination if only to lower the taxi service charge for the benefit of the commuters and to encourage them to patronize taxi service.

In a separate resolution, the body requested the members of the LTFRB to conduct their hearing in the city on said motions for reconsideration.

Department of Transportation Regional Director Jose Eduardo Natividad, who attended the session as a resource person, has committed to bring to LTFRB central office the issues and concerns raised during the council session.

The body commended through Resolution 135, s. 2018 the outstanding punong barangays of Baguio City for 2017 by the International Rotary Club of Metro Baguio District 3790 Cluster I-C.

The awardees, who were chosen in a painstaking, conscientious and diligent process, are led by Hall of Fame Awardees PB Ferdinand Bucad of Hillside and PB Van Oliver Dicang of Lower Qurino Hill.

The 2017 Ten Outstanding Punong Barangays of the city are Federico Codley of Atok Trail, James Doligas of Brookside, Gil Lomboy of Country Club Village, Murphy Maspil Sr. of Holy Ghost Proper, Nicanor Nialla of San Antonio Village, Jessie Jacob Palos Jr. of Bakakeng Norte Sur, Soriano Palunan of Happy Hallow; Wilbert Ponce of Andres Bonifacio, Andres Remorque Jr. of Upper QM, and Julita Sagun of Upper General Luna.

The tribute to the awardees is in recognition of their continuing efforts in performing their duties as public servants in the pursuit of barangay efficiency, effective barangay governance, and inclusive development.

In Resolution 136, s. 2018, the body urged all the banks operating in the City of Baguio to accommodate without discrimination the differently-abled/other-abled persons, particularly the visually impaired, in the opening of bank accounts.

The action aims to address experiences of visually impaired persons of being declined by some banks when they wanted to open accounts by reason of their limitation of executing their written signature.

Nowadays, banks accounts are necessary for the convenience of the holder/owner in paying PagIbig, PhilHealth, Social Security System contributions, and such other money transactions. Besides, electronic remittances are required by private and government agencies to everyone transacting business in their office for convenience, efficiency, and security purposes. Such privilege is what the visually impaired persons also want to enjoy upon unconditional issuance of their bank accounts.

The resolution penned by councilors Arthur Allad-iw and Roberto Ortega VI stated that the request is pursuant to the provision of Republic Act 7277 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, which calls for everyone – the family, community, and all government and nongovernment organizations – to fully support o the improvement of the total well-being of disabled persons and their integration into mainstream of the society for them to be able to live freely and as independently as possible.

Further, the law stressed that “disabled persons have the same rights as other people to take their place in society” and their rights must never be perceived as welfare services by the government.

Happy Mother’s Day.

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