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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, August 10, 2011
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Bing ready for
dialog on terminal

BY CHRYSEE SAMILLANO

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia yesterday said the city is willing to dialog with the sectors affected by the transfer of the southbound public utility vehicles to the Sambok south terminal at Lopez Jaena-San Sebastian streets, Bacolod City.

At the same time, however, he is asking for their cooperation so they can come up with a reasonable solution that will be best for the people of Bacolod in general, and not for just one sector, Leonardia said.

Social Action Center director Fr. Aniceto Buenafe had earlier said the Church is willing to mediate and facilitate a dialog between the Affected Libertad Stakeholders Alliance and the city government to find a win-win solution to the problem.

United Drivers Operators Center deputy chairman Nilo Frias claimed that the Sambok south terminal is illegal since it has not secured a franchise from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

He said, however, that the existence of the waiting station in Libertad is provided under City Ordinance 1790, Series of 1969.

Leonardia said he believes no terminals have franchises from the LTFRB.

He said they are implementing an existing ordinance to decongest traffic in Libertad but public transportations can still pass by the area.

They have also agreed with the business groups that the city will adapt flexibility in the length of time vehicles will be allowed to load and unload passengers in Libertad, he added.

Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson said ALSA should submit the amendments it wants to propose on C.O. 187 that establishes the terminal at Lopez Jaena.

He said the city will try to address the complaints of the transport groups regarding the facilities at the Sambok south terminal. He believes that the problem does not involve the terminal but the people affected by its transfer, he added.

City Legal Office Enforcement Team head Cesar Beloria Jr. said someone has already committed to provide portable comfort rooms for the terminal.

Beloria said the opportunity to do business in Libertad did not change after the ordinance was implemented for about a week but the city only wanted to put order in Libertad.

They are also conducting a survey to assess the implementation of the ordinance, he said.

The transport groups reportedly pay terminal fees to use the waiting station in Libertad while they are not required to do so at the Sambok south terminal.

Leonardia said he has already directed City Administrator Rogelio Balo to make a feasibility study on the construction of a permanent southbound terminal for Bacolod.

He recalled that all the transport terminals were at the Central Market before but since the city is growing and progressing, he said, there is a need to put the transport terminals in another site to decongest the city. Eventually, any administration will have to think about that, he added.

It is expected that there will be complaints when there are changes introduced because they cannot please everybody, Leonardia said.

“But you have to judge things on the basis of the greatest good for the greatest number. But we will try, as much as possible, to be flexible and accommodating to the extent that it is possible and reasonable, he said.

Meanwhile, Leonardia said he has no idea about the date of the inauguration of the flyover in Brgy. Bata. But when the project started in 2006, coordination was always made with Bacolod City, he said.

They only did what they can do and are not after any credit, he said, and will attend the inauguration only if invited.

The inauguration of the flyover on July 28 had been postponed to a later date so President Benigno Aquino III can attend the rites.

Leonardia said that, according to a press release of the Department of Public Works and Highways, the flyover will cost about P365 million, and pointed out that the Government Center that their political opponents used against them during the last election only cost P394 million, he said.

He also said the proposed City Hall of Iloilo will cost about P720 million.*CGS

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