The City Traffic Management Office (CTMO) said they have impounded over 80 “colorum” tricycles so far, less than a month since embarking on a drive against illegally operating public transport.
Allan Mabella, city traffic operations officer, told Palawan News on Monday that since their intensive operations began on November 18, they still continue to find and apprehend colorum tricycles.
“Ngayon na tumatakbo ang araw natin ay madami pa rin talaga tayong nahuhuli. Ang latest natin ay mayroon na kaming 84, [na nahuli] hindi pa tayo umaabot sa one month na nag-implement nito. I think noong Friday ito kaya posibleng nadagdagan nanaman,” Mabella said.
Previous deliberations at the City Council indicate that there are over 6,000 colorum tricycles plying the city streets, more than the same number of registered units.
Mabella said the action was brought by the complaints of legitimate tricycle franchise holders who get lower income due to the ban on tricycles on major roads in the city.
This is also to prioritize franchise holders who have the right to pick up passengers, he said.
“Ito ang mga hinuhuli natin ay ang mga walang franchise dahil malaki ang reklamo ng mga may franchise na tricycle. Kung maalala ninyo noong tinanggal ang mga tricycles sa major highway natin, nagrereklamo na mahihirapan sila na kumita dahil may kompetensya sila sa mga iilang kalsada na pwede sila,” Mabella said.
“Ginawa natin ito para pagbigyan ang mga lehitimong mga tricycle drivers natin. Kaya lumabas itong war on colorum [tricycles] natin,” he added.
The CTMO advisory in November said it will implement the tricycle ban along national roads in the city pursuant to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular (MC) 2020-036 signed by Secretary Eduardo Año on February 19.
The MC said a tricycle may only traverse or pass through national roads in case of emergency.
Mabella, however, explained that there are portions where tricycles are allowed because there are no alternate routes. “Binawal sa lahat ng highways ang tricycles kaya lang dito sa atin ay may iba na walang ibang alternate route kagaya ng sa Abanico to Irawan kaya pinayagan,” he said.
Meanwhile, the CTMO is currently giving warnings only to tricycles caught violating the ban until December 23 instead of penalizing them with a P500 fine but still counts the violation as a first offense.
“May penalty na P500 pero sa ngayon until December 23 ay wa-warningan lang muna sila [hindi sila magbabayad] pero papasok sa first offense ang warning na ‘yon, ti-ticketan pa rin sila. Sa 24 ay kailangan magbayad ng penalty,” Mabella said.