Taxi services in Butuan City and to any point in Caraga Region is finally revived following the launching and ceremonial signing of the Provisional Authority to operate the initial 16 units for the taxi franchise issued by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Caraga Regional Office to Balangay Transport Services Cooperative (BALTRANSCO) on November 16, 2019 at the Almont Inland Resort and Convention Center.
BALTRANSCO applied for and was awarded with 50 units taxi service franchise out of the 100 units opened for Caraga Region through Memorandum Circular 2019-016.
During the launching ceremony, LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra, through a video message, congratulated BALTRANSCO and LTFRB Caraga for the revival of the taxi service in the region.
“I am very happy to greet you today. Once again, we have pushed the government’s program on the modernization of public transport here in Caraga Region. I am one with you today on this occasion on the launching of the taxi service because for a long time it has ceased to operate. Now, through your help and cooperation, we have relaunched this taxi service in Butuan City under the modernization program,” Delgra declared.
Delgra also expressed his hope that the taxi service will continue to operate successfully and the cooperative will continue to develop in giving the best quality of service to the commuters.
Meanwhile, Joel Bolano, the Chief of the Technical Services Division of LTFRB gave a short lecture regarding taxi services to the cooperative members and the drivers.
Bolano cautioned BALTRANSCO against engaging in contracting and payment on a per head basis as that would be tantamount to colorum operation, by operating differently from its supposed denomination.
“You must use the meter. If you engage in contracting, you are operating like a tourist van or if you ask for payment on a per head basis that is operating like a PUJ, PUB or UV Express. That is operating differently from your franchise as taxi service. That is colorum operation already and it carries with it the penalty of fine amounting to P 120,000.00 and the impounding of your vehicle,” Bolano explained.
In her speech, Maria Kristina Cassion, the OIC-Regional Director of LTFRB Caraga also expressed her congratulations to BALTRANSCO and thanked them for the continued support to the PUV Modernization Program.
“BALTRANSCO has really come a long way. From individual colorum operators of multicabs, we used to hunt you in the streets but you heeded our call to cooperate with us in pushing for the PUVMP and consolidate yourselves into a cooperative. After that you applied for R12 Intra Butuan City route and was granted with more than P33 million loan by DBP, and now you are engaging in taxi services. Congratulations to all of you,” Cassion said.
She recalled that before, the Green Taxi did not survive because it was operated individually but since it is now operated through the cooperative there is a very big chance of success if managed properly by the members of the cooperative and the cooperation of the drivers.
Cassion also assured BALTRANSCO that their office is open to them if they need any assistance and that there will be more training programs they will facilitate to enhance their skills in managing their operations.
Also present during the ceremony were Butuan Councilors Cromwell Nortega and Cherry Mae Busa, who both expressed their pride that there is a taxi service again in the city and gave their assurance that the city government fully supports the PUV Modernization Program of the national government,which not only will boost the tourism potential of the city, but will also help spur growth in the area.
Hyundai Cagayan de Oro Inc. through their General Manager, Gilson Jay Polutan, lent their support to the occasion, together with other transport service cooperatives in the city. PR