Aside from noncompliance with a city ordinance, what other issues does Team Rama have to raise against the continued operation of the jeepney and van-for-hire (V-hire) terminal in Junquera Street, Barangay Kamagayan in Cebu City?
In filing a resolution asking Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña to cease the terminal operations in the area, the council said the mayor violated an ordinance that he himself signed years ago which required council approval for the establishment and operation of a terminal for public utility vehicles.
The Team Rama bloc in the council said there was no consultation with barangay officals on the installation of a PUV terminal in Kamagayan, and they also questioned whether taxes were being paid after learning that the operators were charged P100 per trip.
Not to be outdone, the Bando Osmeña–Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) pointed out that the lot was being used by barangay officials as a parking lot, and they questioned whether the barangay — which likely would be aligned with Team Rama — were paying taxes for the parking fees it collected from motorists.
Councilor Raymond Garcia further linked the issue with the mayor’s hostile dealings with SM and other developers at the South Road Properties (SRP), questioning Osmeña’s anti-corruption claim by saying the mayor allowed the illegal operation of the terminal.
Garcia could afford to go to town on the terminal case since he wasn’t in the council at the time former mayor Michael Rama closed the Citilink terminal formerly used by the V-hires and jeepneys because it failed to pay the city P13 million in taxes.
Coincidentally, the Citilink terminal was supposedly operated by someone claiming close ties with Mayor Osmeña, and there are reports that the current Kamagayan terminal is being operated by a businessman who is a supporter of the mayor.
Osmeña countered by saying that the monthly fees paid by the terminal worth more than P400,000 is larger than the annual taxes of all of Banco de Oro’s (BDO) branches in Cebu City two years ago, BDO being part of the SM empire.
All this legal argumentation aside, we have to ask whether the presence of the terminal is beneficial to the riding public who was inconvenienced when the terminal was first transferred to SM City Cebu and then to the Compania Maritima building where it took commuters an additional taxi ride just to reach it.
While Garcia pursues his case against the mayor and City Treasurer Tessie Camarillo at the Ombudsman, we wonder what he and his Team Rama would propose to replace the terminal at Barangay Kamagayan.
How can they help the commuters who will be inconvenienced by this closure?
We hope they have a better alternative other than transferring the terminal to some far-off area and just confining themselves to criticizing the administration in order to score political brownie points.
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