City Hall keeps open mind, ears on transport route plan

The Iloilo City government said it will welcome proposals to improve the Local Public Transport Route Plan. (Arnold Almancen photo)

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas again reassured that they are aware of the issues and concerns raised by the public over the implementation of the one-week-old Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP).

Treñas explained that their initial talks for the LPTRP since it was conceptualized by the Interior and Transportation departments in 2018 were with transport cooperatives, who are the only entities allowed to avail of Certificates of Public Convenience (CPC) and invest in newer public transport vehicle units.

He also shared that their initial implementation made them realize the importance of consulting other sectors that are affected by new policies.

“The [transport] cooperatives were consulted first, because they were the ones who are now allowed to apply [for Certificate of Public Convenience] and place investments to acquire vehicle units. But now, our team has seen that we need also to consult with [other] associations, and that is what we are doing right now,” he said.

Treñas said he hopes to come to terms with Iloilo province officials to resolve issues especially transportation between the city and the towns of Oton, Leganes, and Santa Barbara.

As to public clamor since last week, the mayor said that people can approach the assigned city and police personnel designated to terminals near the city’s border.

He added that he recommends the submission of written proposals to him, the Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO), the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO), and the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO).

This was also his response to the statement by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Panay calling for the cancellation of the LPTRP implementation and holding “genuine” public consultations for a comprehensive local public transportation plan.

“Any time, I will be receiving written proposals, at the same time, I also recommend, for a swifter [process], to reach the offices of [PSTMO chief Jeck] Conlu, [Executive Assistance for Community Welfare Uldarico] Garbanzos, and [CPDO chief Butch] Peñalosa,” he said.

Treñas thanked the public for their understanding saying that the city government continued and would continue to coordinate with them together with public and private sector entities to “fine-tune” the LPTRP.

“We thank the public for their patience over [the LPTRP]. As you may know, we are still refining it and we have been getting the feedback from the general public, the established groups [such as] transport and business groups and other associations so we can discuss on how to improve this plan,” he said.

“We still have 6 months from the implementation so we could fine-tune this plan, and little by little, we are refining it. We will continue to dialogue with everyone so we can further improve it,” the mayor added.

The initial implementation of the LPTRP was met with widespread criticism from the public, especially from Iloilo province residents who worked in the city.

This was due to the cutting of routes coming from the “first towns”, which include the neighboring provincial towns of Leganes, Oton, Pavia, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara.