The city government’s Anti-Crime Task Force (ACTF) has clamped down on tricycle drivers who are overcharging passengers in Puerto Princesa.
ACTF chief and city information officer Richard Ligad said Friday the campaign against unscrupulous tricycle drivers started on May 23 with 12 caught on video while in the act of overcharging their personnel who posed as passengers.
“Hanggang hindi nauubos ‘yong mga nag-o-overprice ay tuloy-tuloy ito both sa may franchise at special permits. Dose lahat ‘yong nahuli, hindi lang namin in-upload lahat,” he said.
Ligad said the city government’s move was in response to various complaints from residents of the city and those posted by netizens in the social media.
He added it is also in preparation for the holding in the city soon of the Batang Pinoy 2019.
“Kasi nakita natin sa Facebook noong mga nagdaang [araw] ang dami nang nagre-reklamo. Nagawa na namin ‘yan dati, akala namin susundan noong ibang ahensya. Since walang kumuikilos, kumilos tayo kahapon. Nag-initial tayo kahapon kasi inihahanda rin namin ito dahil ayaw namin na darating na mag-ho-host tayo ng Batang Pinoy ay maraming atletang mabiktima,” he said.
Ligad pointed out it would be embarrassing for the city if Batang Pinoy athletes will be victimized by tricycle drivers who will overcharge them.
“Pangit naman na hindi sila (tricycle drivers) madala sa mali nilang ginagawa,” he added.
Ligad explained further that he is set to meet with an initial total of 50 volunteers whose main task will be to monitor the compliance of tricycle drivers with the standard tariffs being imposed for specific destinations in the city.
Once a tricycle driver is proven to be overcharging a passenger, his unit will be immediately impounded and he will be issued a ticket to pay the P3,000 fine.
“Wala na, ticket na agad ‘yon. I-impound na kaagad natin kasi nakailang beses na tayong nananawagan na huwag nilang gawin ‘yong violation. Siguro enough na ‘yong panawagan natin,” he pointed out.
Tricycle fare guide
Based on the tricycle fare guide, the regular tariff for the first two kilometers is P10 and additional P1.50 for every kilometer added.
The regular fare for the elderly, students and persons with disability (PWDs) for the first two kilometers is P8 and additional P1.20 for every kilometer.
For 20 kilometers, a tricycle driver may charge each passenger a regular fare of P37.00 and P29.60 for students, elderly, and PWDs.
In one of the videos that Ligad posted, an unnamed tricycle driver can be heard and seen charging two ACTF personnel who posed as passengers P150 for an estimated two-kilometer ride from what appeared to be somewhere along the national highway in Barangay San Pedro to the Puerto Princesa City International Airport (PPCIA) in Barangay San Miguel.
Another tricycle driver also charged P100 for a trip to Bakers Hills in Barangay Sta. Monica from San Pedro.
Netizen Pio Jutare, who has visited Puerto Princesa, said he had experienced being charged too much by a tricycle driver in the city.
“Sobra talaga maningil ang mga tricycle drivers dyan sa Puerto. Sumakay kami mula pier, kabababa lang nmin kasi ng barko at nagpahatid kami sa Garcellano’s siningil kami ng P150. Sobra na ‘yon, dapat mga P50 lang ‘yon. Malapit lang naman,” Jutare claimed.
The penalty for overcharging is P1,000 for the first offense, P3,000 for the second, and five thousand for third plus cancellation of franchise and Motorized Tricycle Operator’s Permit (MTOP).
The city government’s latest move to resolve the issue, however, received mixed reactions from netizens who posted their opinions under Ligad’s public post of the videos which have already been shared 779 times.
While many support the action, there were also those who sympathized with the tricycle drivers whom they said were just working and earning for a living.
“Isang daan na lang hinuli pa. Bwiset! Sobra naman kayo. Kayo mamasada… walang pasahero doon,” said netizen Marlon Aguilar Salvidar.
Sky Allen also commented: “Ok lang naman P100, sa mahal ba naman ng gasoline. Tapos karamihan, nakiki-boundary lang ‘yang mga namamasada at may mga anak pang naggagatas.”