LAOAG CITY — In support of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program of the Duterte administration, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced the opening of new taxi franchises in Ilocos Region.
With a total of 75 units covering the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan, the additional taxi franchises to operate in any point of Ilocos Region thrilled commuters in this northern gateway of Luzon.
For overseas Filipino worker Alma Gaoiran from Burgos, Ilocos Norte, this is a good development for Ilocos residents, especially like her who has no private vehicle to fetch her when arriving at the Laoag International Airport.
“The presence of taxi in Ilocos is interesting. It’s more convenient for us commuters when we need to catch up a flight or when we go to farther destination,” said Gaoiran, who narrated the inconvenience of riding a tricycle from Laoag airport to the city proper and then wait for almost half an hour for a public utility jeepney or bus to bring her home in Burgos town which is about an hour ride from downtown Laoag.
On Friday, the LTFRB Region 1 launched a roadshow presenting a number of modernized vehicles which include bus, van, and taxi units along the national highway, which will soon serve commuters in the region.
Regional Director Nasrudin Talipasan of the LTFRB Region 1 said this is the first time that a taxi will operate in the region to improve its public transport system.
Pursuant to the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) vehicle modernization program, the additional taxi franchise is in support of the flagship program of the Duterte administration which envisions a restructured, modern, well-managed, and environmentally sustainable transport sector where drivers and operators have stable, sufficient and dignified livelihoods while commuters get to their destinations quickly, safely, and comfortably.
According to the LTFRB, the modernization program is a comprehensive system reform that will entirely change the public land transportation industry.
It features a regulatory reform and sets new guidelines for the issuance of franchise for road-based public transport services. It devolved the function of route planning to the local government units as they are more versed in the terrain and passenger demand within their respective territorial jurisdiction.
Under the program, local government units are required to submit their own Local Public Transport Plan (LPTRP) as a pre-requisite for the opening of PUV franchises within their jurisdiction.
Route rationalization studies will also be conducted to determine the appropriate mode, quantity and service characteristics of the public transport service in each corridor which will make the routes more responsive to passenger demand and ensure that the hierarchy of roads and modes of transportation are followed. Leilanie Adriano / PNA – northboundasia.com