To strictly regulate and closely monitor tricycle operators and drivers catering to the transportation needs of tourists, the City Council is working on an ordinance establishing the tourism frontliners tricycles.
Authored by transportation committee chairman, Councilor Rolando Amurao, the proposed ordinance aims to prevent abuse and overcharging of fares to tourists.
“With this ordinance, we want to instill honesty and integrity among our tricycle drivers as it would discourage the act of taking advantage of our tourists,” he told Palawan News earlier this week.
Amurao said it will institutionalize an existing group of tricycle operators and drivers which functions under the supervision of the City Tourism Office (CTO) for the purpose of transporting tourists.
Accredited tourism frontliner drivers will undergo training-seminars, especially in dealing with tourist-passengers to be conducted by the CTO.
These “tourism-inspired design” tricycles would be noticeable as their front sun visor will be painted with yellow color and labeled with “tourism frontliners” in blue color.
On Wednesday, January 10, the transportation committee held the second and final public hearing on the proposed ordinance.
Amurao said the discussion centered on the tricycle drivers’ request of allowing them to pick up local commuters along the way although they are hired by tourists.
“We insisted what’s in the ordinance because if we’ll allow that it will trigger dispute between them and the regular tricycle drivers,” he said.
The proposed ordinance bans tourism frontliner tricycle drivers from picking up passengers on their way to and from the destinations of their tourist passengers.
However, they are allowed to wait and/or fetch their tourist passengers from their destinations and bring them back to their point of origin.
Under the proposed ordinance, there are eight big hotels in the city proper designated as the point of origins. “We also indicated there the prescribed fare per trip for every point of destination,” he said.
Accredited tricycle drivers violating the ban provision and charging their passengers more than the prescribed rates will face penalties of P1,000 to P5,000, with the possibility of franchise revocation in the third offense.
The city government will be accrediting an initial number of 200 tourism frontliner tricycle drivers, who are exempted in the city’s 50-50 traffic scheme and zoning scheme.
Amurao said they are fast-tracking the approval of the proposed ordinance ahead of the surge of tourists, especially starting this coming Chinese New Year in February, when Chinese tourists on chartered flights from China’s Xiamen City will be flying to Puerto Princesa City.