BAGUIO CITY (Aug. 25) — The Traffic, Transportation and Management Committee of the city council here can recommend experimentation of traffic Councilor Rocky Thomas Balisong stressed clarifying his position on the alleged irregular franchises and traffic re-routing he earlier endorsed.
“When time is of the essence, the committee can recommend such experimentation despite the absence of a formal resolution,” explained Balisong as reaction to the pronouncements of DOTC Regional Director Federico Mandapat that he (Balisong) circumvented the City Council’s legislative process in recommending a 90 re-routing of public utility vehicles (PUVs).
Balisong said an administration order creating the said committee outlined two processes in coming up with traffic recommendations. First, the regular course of coming up in a recommendation that would be contained in a council resolution; and, second, when time is of the essence or urgent situation the committee can recommend for experimentation.
It is in this second situation that he recommend to the police an experimentation on the traffic to study the problem and make recommendations, he explained. Mandapat hit the 90-day experimental re-routing allegedly endorsed by Balisong.
Balisong is the co-chair and Action Officer of the said committee being the chairman of the Committee on Public Utilities of the city council.
Irregularly issued franchises
Balisong clarified the accusation thrown against him in relation to irregular franchises for PUVs issued by the regional office of the Land Transportation Franchizing and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
“The endorsements for jeepney franchises made by my committee were all based on the petitions of the residents based on their (petitioners) needs,” Balisong pointed out. “It is the LTFRB that will finally issue those franchises, as our role are just recommendatory,” he clarified.
Even if there is a moratorium on the issuance of franchises, a franchise may be considered for issuance if it is based on the needs of the community and the council issues an exemption, Balisong added.
Balisong said he welcomes an investigation as to the allegations that he used the council letterhead for his endorsements for the Tip-top route franchises.
“But I did not commit any irregularity whether related to the traffic or franchise,” he said. # Arthur L. Allad-iw for NORDIS