Members of the Cordillera Basic Sectors Transport Cooperative (CBSTC) sought the help of the Baguio City Council for the second time regarding their problems besetting their cooperative. The CBSTC is servicing routes along Aurora Hill, Trancoville, and Dominican Hill. Lack of transparency, illegal collection of fees from members, piling up financial obligations, missing money from the cooperative’s coffers, inaccessible cash flow records, and poor maintenance of
jeepney units were among the “fatal” problems identified by the CBSTC members.

In their letter addressed to the city council, the members accused Jude Wal, incumbent CBSTC chairperson of “illegal management.” The members alleged that Wal had incurred debts in the name of the cooperative from a third party in the “staggering” amount of Php18.7 million. Wal also allegedly refused to pay the members their monetary shares in the government’s Libreng Sakay
Program and converted these supposed monetary shares worth Php21 million into share capital without consulting the members properly.

According to the letter, questionable fees had also been “illegally” collected from the members such as membership fees, share capital contributions, and equities. Wal also allegedly defied the cooperative’s by-laws by “illegally” conducting an election of the Board of Directors on December 28, 2022 that was only participated by members “not critical of his leadership” after having failed to conduct the said election two consecutive times (2018-2020 and 2020-2022).

In its effort to help thresh out the issues, the city council had summoned the two camps to its
regular session last February 27. However, Wal did not attend the forum due to an “earlier equally important activity” and instead sent a letter requesting the city council to dismiss these complaints and allow the CDA to resolve the matter. During the forum, CBSTC member Rolando Yambot told the city council that these problems, if unresolved, might lead to the cooperative’s “bankruptcy.”

The city council had earlier urged the Cooperative and Development Authority (CDA) to hasten its investigation on the alleged violations of Wal and the BODs of the cooperative following numerous complaints of the members. The city council scheduled another forum on Monday during its regular session to further talk about the issue, inviting both camps and representatives from the CDA, Land Transportation and Franchising Board-Cordillera Administative Division, and Landbank of the Philippines.

SP/Jordan G. Habbiling

Amianan Balita Ngayon