SM Rosales transport terminal’s operations illegal – Yu
By Virgilio Sar. Maganes
ROSALES- Unless the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) entered into by the SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SMPHI), Hausland Development Corporation (HDC) and this town represented by Mayor Ricardo V. Revita is ratified by the Sangguniang Bayan (SB), the operation of SM City Transport Terminal is illegal.
This was bared by Councilor Mark Anthony R. Yu to the Northern Watch when interviewed last October 20 during the Sangguniang Bayan’s regular session here.
He said that the SB could not ratify the MOA because it was unconstitutional due to the provision of exclusivity rights in favor to the terminal operator.
This was Yu’s reaction to the letter dated October 18 of SM Mall Manager Jersey Y. Mendoza and SM Regional Operations Manager Cesar P. Bondoc reminding the SB that “ within 45 days from the execution of the MOA, (Rosales) shall promulgate the necessary and appropriate Sangguniang Bayan resolution/s ratifying said execution.”
The 45 days ratification period has already lapsed.
The said letter also stated that prior to the establishment of the town’s traffic management code, the SB shall formally declare that the location of the Carmen Rosales Central Transport Terminal (CRCCT) will be in SM Rosales.
“We have to craft a new MOA which is beneficial to the public and in consonance with the existing laws. The traffic management code is general in nature and will not affect at all the operation of SM City Public Transport Terminal,” said Yu.
Councilor Yu cited Memorandum Circular Nos. 2011-150 and 2011-151 dated October 12 from Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo which reiterated the guidelines in the establishment and operation of public transport terminals.
Memorandum Order 2011-150 stated that “LGUs blatantly disregarded said issuance (DILG-DOTC Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1, s. 2008) through the commission of any or all of the following acts: compelling vehicles merely passing through to use the public transport terminals established or designated by the LGUs and imposing fees thereon; closing down existing private terminals or curtailing the operation of said terminals for the purpose of using public transport terminals established or designated by the LGUs; and the LGUs failure to observe policies, standards and limitations on the establishment and operation of public transport terminals.”
On the other hand, Memorandum Order No. 2011-151 suspends the LGU imposition and collection of illegal fees and taxes and directing all local chief executives to “ refrain from enforcing any existing ordinance authorizing the levy of fees and taxes on inter-province transport of goods, regulatory fees from passengers in local ports, and other additional taxes, fees or charges in any form upon transporting goods and passengers; and cause the immediate repeal of the ordinance imposing the above cited fees and taxes.”
It will be recalled that on April 29 2011, SM Prime Holdings, Inc., the Municipal Government of Rosales and HDC entered into a MOA wherein rights to operate the CRCTT was transferred and conveyed by HDC to SM City in the amount of P56 million to be operational within 17 years and to be renewed for another 10 years.
The CRCTT, however, was not operated by SM Prime Holdings, Inc. Instead, it established a new transport terminal in front of the SM City Rosales where fees from transport groups are being collected.
The CRCTT was established with the intention of regulating the flow of traffic and centralizing all transportation terminals in one exclusive transportation facility within the territorial jurisdiction of Rosales.
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