LPTRPs of Western Visayas LGUs suffer approval snags

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Western Visayas (LTFRB-6) reported low approval rates for Local Public Transport Route Plans (LPTRPs) from local government units (LGUs) in the region, despite high submission rates.

Data from LTFRB-6 showed that of the six provinces in the region, five have submitted LPTRPs, but only one has been approved for implementation as of April this year.

Atty. Salvador “Jun” Altura, officer-in-charge of LTFRB-6, said Guimaras is the only province with an approved LPTRP, while Negros Occidental has yet to submit its first draft.

Among the 14 cities in the region, 10 have submitted their LPTRPs, but only three have been approved.

For municipalities, LTFRB-6 received 76 submissions, with 59 evaluated. However, only two have been approved for implementation.

“There are still a substantial number of municipalities that have yet to submit their LPTRPs. There are various reasons why others have not actually submitted. One is the resistance to the idea of creating an LPTRP.” he said.

In the highly urbanized cities (HUCs) category, Iloilo City and Bacolod City achieved a 100 percent submission and approval rate. Iloilo City fully implemented its LPTRP on May 27, while Bacolod City will have another dry run before full implementation.

LTFRB-6 has received 93 LPTRPs as of April, accounting for 66.91 percent of the expected number.

“The process of adopting the LPTRP is quite lengthy,” Altura said.

He explained that LGUs prepare the plan and submit it to LTFRB. It is then returned for suggestions or corrections. For instance, Iloilo province’s LPTRP has undergone four resubmissions and still awaits approval.

After revisions, the LPTRP is approved and goes back to the LGU for adoption through an ordinance. Once it becomes an ordinance, it goes back to LTFRB for the issuance of a memorandum circular, serving as the basis for implementation.

The Department of Transportation approves LPTRPs of HUCs or provinces, while the LTFRB Central Office is responsible for approving the plans of component cities or municipalities.

Altura attributed the low approval rate to delays in the resubmission of proposed LPTRPs by LGUs, as there is no set timeline for corrections to be made.

“The problem is, we do not give a timeframe for them to return the corrections we recommended,” he stressed.

He also emphasized that LTFRB has no control over LGUs but noted that they are now compelled to create their LPTRPs due to a mandate from the Department of the Interior and Local Government, which requires LGUs to have their LPTRP to qualify for the Seal of Good Local Governance award.

Altura also pointed out that the regional office lacks personnel qualified to make preliminary evaluations, contributing to the delay in approval.

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