By Angel Castillo
A PROPOSED ordinance from Councilor Leandro Yangot, first introduced in 2019, is looking to implement a fee charging tourists who bring their cars up to Baguio City.
Passed on first reading, the ordinance would see tourists with cars charged P50 upon entry to Baguio City. The collection of congestion fee shall apply to all visiting vehicle owners or drivers. The funds would then be used for programs to alleviate the traffic situation in the city.
“Traffic can at least be minimized or controlled to a tolerable level,” Yangot said of the proposal. Fees will be put in a trust fund for programs and activities to mitigate traffic in the city.
Under the ordinance, residents of Baguio City will be exempt from the P50 charge as well as the neighboring La Trinidad – Itogon – Sablan – Tuba – Tublay (LISTT) areas.
Yangot also said that there is a possibility that the exemptions be expanded to cover all Cordilleran residents, not just the Benguet neighbors.
According to the Land Transportation Office (LTO), there are currently over 58,600 motor vehicles registered in Baguio City, with another 44,000 registered in nearby La Trinidad, Benguet.
The ordinance tasked the City Treasury Office to monitor and formulate the guidelines necessary for the successful implementation of the proposed measure.
At present, the city’s population is approximately 400,000 but the same nearly doubles during the day when people from various parts of the Northern and Central Luzon area flock to the city to transact various businesses.
The ordinance cited that the road network that was designed in the 1900s was narrow as it was made primarily for a limited population.