Tricycle drivers and operators have decried the order banning them on the national roads, claiming they fear losing their only means of livelihood.
Rizel Lapating, 47, lamented that he is operating and driving his own tricycle for about 15 years now. He is under the Nobtoda in Old Buncag and works to send his children to school.
Lapating said that the tricycle ban implementation would result in decreased income for his family. He said the minimum he earns in a day is about P600 to P700, but if the ban continues, he fears what he gets will further shrink to half if he can no longer drive along the main roads of the city.
“Malaking kabawasan nito. Ang pinakamahina ay P600 to P700 kapag maganda ang pasada ay mataas ‘yon. Kung ma-implement ito baka P300 hindi pa ako kikita. Malaking kawalan talaga. May pinapaaral pa akong anak, nakapatapos na nga ako ng college dahil sa pagta-tricycle ko. Ngayon paano naman ‘yong hindi nakapagtapos, mati-tengga?” he said.
Lapating said he does not know any other livelihood to earn the same income he receives from driving tricycles.
Lapating is also worried for the commuters who will take “double rides” to get to their destinations.
“Yong wala na maipakain sa pamilya, ‘yong wala na mapa-aral sa anak ko. Hindi lang mga driver ang apektado pati mga commuter, imbes na P10 lang madadagdagan pa ng P10, di P20 na? Lalong pahirap sa taumbayan,” he said.
Like Lapating, Luisito Reyes also emphasized the effect of the trike ban on the commuters in Puerto Princesa.
“Ang problema kasi dyan ay’ yong mapapalayo ang ikot at isa pa, ‘yong pinaka-apektado talaga ay ‘yong commuter. Kunyare may dala silang semento o plywood, saan nila ikakarga? Ako naman ang ruta ko kahit saan lang, ‘yon nga lang mapapalayo,” he said.
Reyes is uncertain on what would be the changes in his income if the ban will be completely implemented.
At age 51, he is the sole breadwinner in his family. He said he might consider changing his source of livelihood but he has no idea what it will be as of the moment.
“Isa lang ang pinapaaral kong anak, asawa ko naman ay baldado. Kung tutuusin ay solo ako. ‘Yong asawa ko ay sa bahay lang, hindi ‘yon makakilos ,” he said.
“Kapag binawal na talaga siguro, puwede na mag-iba na ako (ng pangkakabuhayan) pero kung meron pa naman umikot, wala pa problema. Sa ngayon nga lang wala pa ako maisip na puwede pamalit,” Reyes added.
Reyes expressed pity for the situation of the commuters who have budgeted their money enough for fares yet the absence of tricycles along national highways would make them spend more just to be at home or be at their offices and schools.
“Pagdating sa kita, di mo pa masasabi kasi mamimili ka ng pasahero na mas malapit-lapit, iyon nga lang malalayo ay hindi mahahatid. Sigurado tatanggihan ng driver ‘yon kahit na sabihin na bawal tanggihan, kahit papaano namumuhunan naman ang driver. Buti kung bigay lang ‘yong gasoline, ang mahal niyan. Kawawa ang mga pasahero na budget na budget na nga ‘yong pera mo tapos mag-iilang sakay ka pa,” he said.
Among the many affected are the students, said Palawan State University (PSU) student government president Elijah Daniel Geanga. He said an increase in transportation fare can be expected.
“It would be an added cost to our students, medyo mahihirapan. Like for example, kung ang ruta mo ay walang masyadong dumadaan na sasakyan, kailangan mo pa mag-antay so dagdag siguro ito pahirap sa mga kapwa estudyante and at the same time dagdag din ito sa cost nila,” he said.
Geanga is hoping that the trike ban will be reviewed to consider the welfare of commuters especially the students.