PN file photo

The City Council once again extended the period for renewal of the mayor’s permit and payment of annual supervision fees for tricycles to May 20 to accommodate the high number of operators and drivers who missed the deadline for the first extension.

The renewal of the mayor’s permit for tricycles was first extended through a resolution authored by Councilor Peter “Jimbo” Maristela, with the deadline moved from February 28 to March 30.

During their regular session on Monday, however, Vice Mayor Maria Nancy Socrates stated that, according to the City Tricycle Franchising Office, there are more or less 909 tricycles whose mayor’s permits are still not renewed and unpaid supervision fees despite the extension.

Socrates initially requested an extension until April 30, but it was later reduced to 30 working days due to several holidays, particularly Holy Week.

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Councilors threw their support behind Socrates’ call, stating that many operators and drivers are still struggling because of rising fuel prices in the city. In the first extension, they said that Typhoon “Odette” had destroyed homes and businesses all over the city, and that the COVID-19 crisis was still going on.

She also stated in an interview that the move was not politically-motivated, stating that every year they have been allowing extensions for tricycle operators and drivers, with the May 9 elections fast approaching. The transport sector is one of the largest voting sectors.

“We do this every year, talagang mayroong mga hindi nakakahabol sa deadline, kahit extension na nga ito. It’s not because of the elections, it’s really just helping those who are unable to comply on time,” Socrates explained.

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