LTFRB distances from ex-official allegedly collecting illegal franchise fees
MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) distanced itself from a former official alleged to have been illegally collecting fees in exchange for a public utility vehicle (PUV) franchise.
In an advisory, the LTFRB also reiterated that PUV franchises “are not for sale.”
“We remind the public again that the franchises for public utility vehicles are not for sale, ‘WALANG BAYAD ANG PRANGKISA,’” it said.
“The LTFRB does not allow outsiders or fixers to intercede in the regular processing of the franchise issuances. We urge the public to help us identify, investigate, and apprehend fixers to put a stop to their corrupt practices,” it added.
During a Senate hearing of the public services committee on Wednesday, Mar Valbuena, president of Samahan ng mga Malls Integrated Transport Terminal, alleged that individuals claiming to be connected with the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) were asking PUV operators to cough up P250,000 so that they can apply for a franchise.
Valbuena eventually pointed his claims to a certain lawyer Marcelo Salud.
“I’m at the transport marketing consultant of PITX…I was a former director of the LTFRB,” Salud said during the hearing when Senator Grace Poe, chair of the panel, asked about his working background.
However, the LTFRB said in its advisory that while Salud admitted to be a former LTFRB director, the transport regulatory board “officially states that Atty. Salud is no longer connected with the LTFRB and is not authorized to enter into any transaction on behalf of the LTFRB.”
“Wala pong nagongolekta. ldinedeny namin lahat diyan. Kaya po namin tinutulungan lahat ng gusto mag-apply ng prangkisa,” Salud said as he denied the allegations during the hearing.
“I think it very unfair on my part to accuse me of that wrongdoing,” he added. /je
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.