BAGUIO CITY – NEDA-CAR gathered experts on traffic and transport management from regional line agencies and the local government units of Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Tuba, and Tublay (BLISTT) for a workshop on BLISTT Traffic and Transport Management last November 15. The workshop was set to provide the BLISTT Governing Council, composed of the mayors of the member local government units (LGUs), the necessary information and recommendations to address the traffic problem in the BLISTT area.

 “We are converging towards a holistic solution of traffic and transport management in BLISTT”, said Stephanie Christiansen of NEDA-CAR, adding that  “We should be cooperating and sharing resources”. BLISTT Chairman Benjamin Magalong proposed in an earlier BLISTT meeting to decongest Baguio City by “cutting in half” the number of Public Utility Jeepneys (PUJs) that would enter Baguio’s central business district.

Resource speaker and traffic management expert Engr. Mark de Guzman of the SLU School of Engineering and Architecture shared his research-based insights on traffic and transport management and urban planning. De Guzman stressed the triangle of transport solutions where there are basic areas to focus on such as road marking and signs, manholes, drain covers, street lights, “even before we talk about cable cars and monorails”, he said. He also underscored that solutions should be in engineering, education, and enforcement.

The experts, facilitated by staff of NEDA-CAR, discussed strategies in decongesting bottlenecks and other transportation management concerns in the BLISTT such as the increasing number of private vehicles during weekends and holidays, longer commuting time, inadequate parking facilities, and proposed diversion routes. The participants also reviewed local ordinances that addressed traffic and transport concerns in their respective municipalities. The experts provided recommendations to be consolidated by NEDA-CAR.

The Council will next meet on December 4 where the outputs of this workshop will be discussed and short to long-term plans will be put in place. The BLISTT Governing Council met on September 12 when elected officers took oath Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong as the Chairman, Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan as Vice Chairman, La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda as secretary and Tublay Mayor Armando Lauro as treasurer.