Transport group hits alleged fee irregularity at PITX; Exec issues denial
MANILA, Philippines – A transport group leader on Wednesday claimed that individuals claiming to be connected with the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) are illegally collecting fees in exchange for a public utility vehicles (PUVs) franchise.
“Yung miyembro po namin ini-ipon po nila [PITX members] para mapangakuan po ng makakapasok kayo sa PITX. Kailangan lang magbigay kayo ng ganitong amount. Ang sinasabi po niya eto sigurado magbibigyan kayo ng prangkisa,” Mar Valbuena, president of Samahan ng mga Malls Integrated Transport Terminal bared during Senate committee on public services hearing on PITX issues on Wednesday.
(Our members are being promised access to PITX in exchange for a certain amount, and that they will be granted a franchise.)
Valbuena claimed that PITX officials are asking PUV operators to cough up P250,000 so that they can apply for a franchise.
“Merong mga tao sa PITX […] sisingilin kami ng P250,000 per franchise. Paano namin mababawi itong P250,000? Tapos naghuhulog pa kami para sa aming sasakyan,” he said.
(Someone from PITX charges us P250,000 per franchise. How can we recover that amount? We are still paying the amortization for our units.)
Lawyer Marcelo Salud, PITX transport marketing consultant, denied the allegations.
“Wala pong nagongolekta. ldinedeny namin lahat diyan. Kaya po namin tinutulungan lahat ng gusto mag-apply ng prangkisa,” Salud said during the hearing.
(No one is collecting any fee. We deny that. We are helping out all those who want to apply for a franchise).
Senator Grace Poe also asked Valbuena to present evidence to prove his claims against PITX members.
“To be fair, you should present evidence. ‘Di lang pwede hearsay. Kung meron kayong video kung may witness ganitong oras meron bang CCTV,” Poe said during the hearing.
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chief Martin Delgra said the sale and transfer of a franchise is a source of corruption because it is supposed to be free.
“One of the source of corruption is sale and transfer. ‘Yung pagbebenta ng prangkisa, we put a stop to that because that’s against public policy and a privilege given for free should not be sold for something valuable,” Delgra said.
LTFRB issued a Memorandum Circular No. 2016-010 which prohibited the acceptance of application for sale and transfer whether voluntary or involuntary of CPC (certificate of public convenience.)
The memorandum was issued in order to stop the commercialization of CPC due to the practice selling franchises for profit. /gsg
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