An order from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) received by the City government this week has prompted local officials to begin crafting an ordinance banning tricycles from the national highway.
Councilor Rolando Amurao told Palawan News they received the order on Thursday directing the city government to “strictly” implement the tricycle ban.
“Sinasabi dito na ‘yung mga tricycles ay hindi na puwedeng padaanin sa national highway, na ang tricycles ay puwede lang sa city roads at municipal roads kung sa munisipyo. Basta considered na national highway ipagbabawal na ang tricycles,” Amurao said.
Amurao said the department order was based on existing national policy published by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) back in 2007, imposing tricycles and pedicabs to stop operating on national highways and main roads of all provincial cities and municipalities.
Amurao said they will start holding public hearings next week to engage drivers and operators of public utility vehicles (PUVs) on the implementation of the policy.
Col. David Martinez, Head of Committee on Public Safety and Order, said that his office is devising a plan to promulgate the same policy after the construction of alternate routes within Puerto Princesa is done. But in able to execute the entire proposal, his office will conduct studies and surveys before they start to alter things.
Martinez also stressed that his office, together with the City Traffic and Management, will not “fully” ban public tricycles to operate along the highways. Instead, tricycles would not be allowed to operate on a specific time in a day, particularly from 7AM-9AM in the morning and from 5PM-7PM in the afternoon.
“May oras lang na aalisin sila sa mga main roads natin. Ang nakikita namin diyan, from Capitol to Adventist, ‘yung national highway natin. May oras lang sa umaga at may oras lang sa hapon,” said Martinez.
Engr. Jonathan Magay, Head of City Traffic and Management Office, earlier said Puerto Princesa City is considered to be a “special case” because the city does not have enough PUVs that could cater to commuters.
“Ang tricycles kasi natin, hindi sila under ng LTFRB. Under sila ng CTFRB – City Traffic Franchising Regulatory Board. Kaya ‘yung tricycles natin ay subject to the ordinances na ginawa ng Sangguniang Panlungsod,” said Magay.
“Hindi natin puwedeng tanggalin ang tricycles sa highways because they have been given power to operate through CTFRB approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod,” added Magay.
Magay had also acknowledged that there is political pressure on city legislators against the strict implementation of the tricycle ban.
“Unahin natin ‘yung political aspect. Sino ba naman sa mga kagawad ang mangungunang mag-propose na tanggalin ang exception niyan? E di patay sila, wala silang boto dito sa siyudad,” said Magay.
Amurao, for his part, denied they are not serious in following the national policy.
“Hindi totoo ‘yan. Dahil ako ay hindi matatakot na mag-implement ng batas dahil alam natin na kung ‘yan ang batas, ipapatupad natin ‘yan,” Amurao said.
“Pero, kung hindi pa naman talaga kaya ng ating mga multi-cab na serbisyuhan ang mga tao, magkakaroon tayo ng special case. Kung talagang makikita natin sa ating hearing na kaya na ng ating multi-cabs na i-cater ang ating mga commuters, iimplement natin ‘yan,” added Amurao.