Thirteen years after the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) memorandum was issued banning them on national highways, the city government opens its floor anew on talks about finally implementing the law that will remove the tricycles on main roads in Puerto Princesa.
Councilor Elgin Damasco, chairman of Committee on Transportation, maintained on Friday that a “status quo” requesting for an exemption on the national law will once again be filed citing tricycles as the major mode of public transportation in the city.
Under the Local Government Code, city and municipal mayors, through the Sanggunians, are authorized to regulate the operation of tricycles within their territorial jurisdiction, subject to the guidelines prescribed by the Department of Transportation.
Virgilio Tagle, acting director of the City DILG, remained firm on the department’s supervisory powers over the local government guidelines pointing out that the tricycle congestion is causing traffic problems along the national highways.
“Napapanahon na para i-implement ang direktibang ito. Ang trapik ay problema na so ipatupad natin ito,” Tagle said in a press statement.
“For safety reasons, no tricycle should operate on national highways utilized by four-wheel vehicles greater than four tons and where normal speed exceeds 40 kilometers per hour,” DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said in an earlier press statement.
Año adds, “allowing them on main thoroughfares poses hazards to other motor vehicles, the riding public, and even to the drivers themselves.”
According to the latest report from the Sanggunian, there are around 4,000 registered tricycle operators in the city who will be significantly affected by the proposed traffic measure.
Levi Daculan, president of Sta. Monica tricycle operators and drivers association (TODA), said that they are open to discuss the matter with the City Council in so far their welfare is concerned pointing out that it’s the primary source of income of the drivers.
In December 2019, mayor Lucilo R. Bayron vetoed the city ordinance on tricycle franchise ownership citing it as “prejudicial to public welfare”, invoking the DILG memorandum circular Nos. 2007-01 and 2011-68 prohibiting tricycles on national highways.
Public consultation is yet to be scheduled to discuss the issue and iron things out between the concerned parties.