City councilor Peter “Jimbo” Maristela has invited representatives of the PNP Highway Patrol Group (HPG) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to explain their move to implement the national law banning tricycles along the national roads despite knowledge about efforts to find a win-win solution regarding the issue.
In a meeting on Friday with various tricycle operators and drivers associations (TODA), Maristela who is also the new transportation committee chair in the City Council, said he had already requested representatives from the two agencies to appear on Monday in the Question Hour to answer several questions that their joint operation had raised.
“Tayo po ay bago pa lang as chairman ng committee on transportation. Ang ginawa po natin, nag-request tayo na maimbitahan ang HPG at LTO sa Monday sa Q and A ng Sangguniang Panlunsgsod. Ito ay para naman maipaliwanag nila kung bakit nila ginawa ‘yong panghuhuli sa ating mga kababayan while on process pa sa pagsunod sa memorandum circular ang Sangguniang [Panlungsod] at ang city government,” he said.
Maristela said what happened on February 7 along the national highway in Barangay San Jose was unfair to the tricycle drivers and operators, and even the commuters, who were all left confused thinking there are still mediation activities being done before the trike ban is implemented.
He reiterated that there is no such law prohibiting the tricycle on national highways. What was issued was a memorandum circular by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“Ang sinasabi lang ng memorandum circular ng DILG ng paulit-ulit ay for safety reasons, wala papayagan na tricycle o pedicab na mag-operate sa national highway na ginagamit ng mga four-wheel vehicles na ang dala ay mahigit sa four tons at kung saan ang normal speed ay lagpas sa 40 kilometers per hour (kph). Puwede namang gumawa ng ordinansa ang Sanggunian kung walang ibang alternate route. Ibig sabihin hindi absolute na bawal sa national highway base sa guidelines na dapat sundin ng mga local government units (LGUs) sa pagbibigay ng prangkisa sa mga tricycle,” Maristela said.
Maristela said he is set to file a proposed ordinance on Monday that will regulate the operation of tricycles on national roads in the city.
He presented this proposed ordinance to the different TODA representatives who attended.
“Balak natin mag-file ng ordinansa sa Monday patungkol doon sa pagre-regulate sa tricycle sa national highway. Kinuha ko din ang kanilang (TODAs) opinyon para hindi lang galing sa akin kasi baka naman ang ipapasa nating ordinansa ay akala natin ‘yon ang gusto nila, ‘yon pala hindi naman,” he said.
He also said that the draft ordinance contains a proposal to consider national roads with no alternate routes, such as Rizal Avenue, along Adventist Palawan Hospital going to Sta. Lourdes, and the highway going to Brgy. Irawan, given that the tricycle should stay only on the outer lanes.
“Sa Monday na lang ‘yong ordinace kung ano rin ‘yong napag-usapan sa consultation andoon din ‘yon. Sa ating proposal, papayagan ang Rizal Avenue, sa Adventist — i-consider din na payagan hanggang sa Sta. Lourdes hanggang sa Irawan basta sa outer lane lang kasi walang alternate dahil kung meron man hindi supisyente dahil maliliit ang kalsada at sa national highway may mga daan na dead end,” he said.