(File photo)

The city government has urged the public, including tourists and athletes of the Batang Pinoy 2019 national championships, to file formal complaints against erring tricycle drivers who refuse to convey them if they do not pay more than the regular minimum fares.

In an interview with Palawan News, city information officer and anti-crime task force head Richard Ligad said Tuesday that formal complaints are needed for them to be able to act accordingly instead of merely “posting” the matter in the social media.

Ligad said they have not received so far any complaint from Batang Pinoy athletes who have already been oriented earlier that the regular minimum fare within the city is P10.

“Wala naman kaming natatanggap na pormal na reklamo hanggang ngayon kahit sa PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) ay walang nagrereklamo. Dapat kung may ma-encounter sila ay ibigay nila ang picture ng driver o sasakyan at ‘yong plate number kasi madali naman ‘yan ma-trace. Isa pa, lahat ng players, coaches and trainers ay na-orient natin bago pa man tungkol dito sa pamasahe. May naka-post sa lahat ng billeting areas kung magkano ang dapat nilang bayaran,” he said.

Ligad made the clarification after a certain May Fatima Caabay Mingo posted on the Facebook that complaints are rampant about tricycle drivers overcharging passengers, some of them Batang Pinoy athletes.

“May mga reklamo ang mga local tourists or Batang Pinoy delegates. Sobrang mahal po ng singil ng pamasahe. Robinson’s to Mateo Jagmis Elementary School ay P40 each, tatlo sila siningil sila ng P120. Ganoon din ‘yong galing sa Go Hotel na isang adult at dalawang bata P100 ang singil sa pamasahe,” Mingo’s post claimed.

Ligad said those who have been victimized can come to his office and file formal complaints because they will do their best to find the erring tricycle drivers.

He said this can be done by documenting the plate number of the tricycles, getting a picture of the driver, or any markings that can identify the tricycle if it is “colorum”.

Ligad said that around 45 colorum tricycles have been caught by the Anti-Crime Task Force (ACTF) from a two-day operation just recently.

He also suspects that drivers of colorum tricycles are the ones imposing exorbitant transportation fares.

“Nasa 45 na mga colorum na ang nahuli natin sa dalawang araw na operation. Wala kasing aamin kung iisa-isahin mo kaya nag-operate tayo. Ang mga may franchise na tricycle ay may nakalagay na taripa sa loob ng tricycles nila, nakapaskil, kaya imposible na sila ang mag-overcharge,” he said.

On Monday, Councilor Elgin Damasco also brought up the issue regarding complaints about tricycle driver overcharging passengers in their regular session at the City Council.

Damasco said despite the host city’s week-long preparations to prevent the problem from happening, tricycle drivers remain delinquent in following what they have been warned not to do.

“Napag-usapan na ito bago pa ang Batang Pinoy, pero nandoon pa rin ang reklamo sa mataas na singil ng mga tricycle drivers natin sa mga delegado sa Batang Pinoy. Napapahiya na tayo dahil dito. Nakaraan pa ‘yan napapag-usapan pero hanggang ngayon nangyayari pa rin,” Damasco said.

On the other hand, city traffic program manager Engr. Jonathan Magay said they have previously implemented a joint effort to solve the problem by accrediting tricycles to convey athletes from billeting venues to their destinations with information about the minimum fares.

They have also deployed additional traffic enforcers in all key areas to ensure traffic rules and policies are strictly followed, including possible complaints about the tricycles.

“Katulad ng naipangako ko dati ay nakapagpaskil tayo sa mga billeting areas ng information, then may mga tricycles na may accreditation from the city traffic office na sila ang nakapila doon sa billeting para masiguro na hindi mag-o-overcharging ang mga masasakyan nila. Hindi lang natin alam kung bakit ganyan na mayroon pa rin nakakalusot pero gagawan natin ‘yan ng paraan at kung may franchise ang nag-aabuso ay tatanggalan natin ng franchise,” Magay said.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.