March 03, 2021 |

Backride Palawan told to stop operation, get legal papers first

The city government has ordered the motorcycle-taxi service Backride Palawan to stop operations as of February 4 as the service is deemed “illegal”.

City Councilor Roy Ventura, chairman of the Committee on Health, said on Thursday during the public hearing that Backride Palawan has no authority to operate in the city, citing that the motorcycle taxi service permit only includes delivery service for goods, and not for riding passengers.

“Lumalabas na talagang hindi dapat ang Backride nag ta-transport ng tao kasi malinaw din na ang mayor’s permit ay pang delivery lang ng goods. Kaya ang lumalabas, hindi kayo puwede mag-transport ng tao. Alam natin na kapag naghahanap buhay tayo sa ating komunidad, dapat lahat tayo legal para walang reklamo,” Ventura said.

Gabriel Bonete, president of the tricycle operators and drivers association (TODA) in Barangay San Manuel, said the motorcycle hailing service is trying to earn money in a “wrong way,” stating that Backride operation was unfair as they operate without the necessary permits.

“Kumukuha ng franchise ‘yong mga tricycle para makapag-operate sila ng for hire. Sila ay sumusunod sa mga batas na ipinapatupad natin sa transport. Ngayon makikita natin na may bagong grupo na ginagamit ‘yong mga motorsiklo sa paghahanap buhay. ‘Yong sa atin naman dito, kawawa ‘yong mga tricycle na nagbabayad ng taxes tapos naaagawan pa,” Bonete said.

According to Tiburcio Bautista III of Backride Palawan, since the onset of pandemic lockdown, the job provided him a lifeline. He said it was very helpful to his family especially when his child got sick.

“Dito sa Backride, sa sobrang tagal ng pandemic naramdaman ko na hindi nagutom ‘yong pamilya ko. Lahat ng bills namin kahit papano nababayaran liban pa noong nagkasakit yong anak ko dahil sa backride natulungan ako makabili ng gamot,” Bautista said.

Bonete shared his sympathy for Backride drivers, however, he noted that this should be “fair” as someone who pays taxes, citing the struggles of tricycle drivers for the franchise and mayor’s permit renewal.

“Nauunawaan ko rin ‘yong backride. Ang sa sulat ko talaga is maging patas. Yon lang naman ang pinaka punto ko is maging patas tayo dahil kami ay nag babayad [ng tax]. Katulad ngayon, renewal lahat kaming tricycle driver at operator nagkaka-ugaga kami para i-prepare kung ano ‘yong kailangang requirements para lang maka-renew kami,” Bonete said.

Meanwhile, Ventura suggested that Backride drivers ask for help from a lawyer to see what they can do.

“Baka mayroon naman ‘yong Backride na mga abogadong kaibigan, puwede naman kayong magpatulong kung ano magandang gawin sa inyong samahan. Mag-apply kayo or humingi kayo ng franchise sa Angkas or Joyride baka sakaling bigyan kayo dito sa lungsod ng Puerto Princesa,” Ventura said.

He also told the group to comply with all legal requirements before resuming operation to avoid any issue with the tricycle drivers and operators.

“As of now, nakiki-usap tayo na mag trabaho tayo ng legal. Yong naaayon lang sa ating business permit para walaong nasasagasaan. Kung may mag-violate sa usapang ito ay wala muna tayong action pero mag- a-action nyan ay Highway Patrol Group, police at LTO at BPLO,” Ventura said.

P/Maj. Ariel Abanto, Highway Patrol Group (HPG) head, also told backride drivers during the public hearing that they are willing to help to have it legal but appealed to them to do their part.

“Huwag na nating hintayin pa na magkasakitan kayo. Magkakaroon kasi ng tension yan. Dito ay isang rekomendasyon na bakit hindi natin sila tulungan at nakikita naman natin ang advantage at disadvantage. Tulungan natin sila kung maaari na maging legal. Kayo namang nasa backride Palawan ay gumawa rin kayo ng hakbang para makakitaan din kayo ng konseho na maaari nila kayong matulungan,” Abanto said.

Responding to the points raised in the public hearing, City Traffic Management Office head Richard Ligad said he will not allow any division and protest between the tricycle drivers and backriders. He also reiterated that the Backride Palawan was not allowed to operate, citing that they have no permit for riding passengers.

“Kung sakali man na mag-violate sila, di tayo puwede manghimasok. Pero bilang isang public oder and safety officer, hindi ko naman papayagan na magkaron ng division o kaguluhan sa ating lungsod. Maliwanag sa pagkakaintindi ko dito ngayon na walang permit yong backride Palawan,” Ligad said.

 

 

 

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