Local residents, owners of business establishments and private vehicles expressed strong opposition to the proposed P250 congestion fee ,entering central business district (CBD). Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) is the
program’s proponent, intended to reduce traffic and environmental impact in the city. And would require vehicles to pay P 250 pesos fee upon entry, particularly during peak hours. Reports, city officials ‘argue’ that this measure is necessary to address the worsening traffic congestion and air pollution in Baguio, a popular tourist destination known for its cool climate and scenic views.

In a random interviews, local residents express concerns about the additional financial burden, particularly those who commute into the city for work and school. “Ay. For me that’s a no no. Kasi Session Road is like a shortcut, kumbaga easier access if you’ll travel from one barangay to another,’ Aberdeen Lopez And also mababawasanman ang traffic sa Session Road pero yong other daan is mas ttraffic so hindi rin siya magiging helpful to ease traffic” Lopez added. Business owners are also worried about the potential negative impact on tourism and commerce.
“Narigat la garuden ti biyag, parigaten da pay lalo.

Nabayagakon aglalako nga sidewalk vendor ditoy session, daytoy lang ti pagal alaak ti pangbiyag ko ti anak ko” ‘said Tess Moling, a sidewalk vendor. Transport groups also voiced their objections, arguing that the fee unfairly targets drivers without providing viable alternative transportation options. “Hirap na nga kami sa maliitna pasada kada araw may ganito pa silang ipagawa. Iti kayatmi ngatuan da iti pamasahe ti jeep haan nga kastuy” (Our everyday drive for our passenger is hard already and they implement this. What we want is they raise the fair for jeepney and not like this.) said Robert Kinyaw, a jeepney driver of Aurora Hill route.

As debates continue, the future of proposed congestion fee remains uncertain. Residents and business owners hope that their voices will be heard and that a more balanced approach to addressing the city’s traffic woes can be found.
Public consultations are set to discuss the congestion fee proposal and address the concerns of the community.
Mayor Magalong emphasized the importance of community input in shaping the final policy. “We want to hear from our residents and stakeholders. Their feedback is crucial in developing a solution that works for everyone,” Magalong said.

Aaron John T. Mendoza-UC Intern/ABN

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