776 tricycles nabbed at nat’l highway

Traffic enforcers apprehend tricycles at Diversion Road in Mandurriao, Iloilo City. (Photo from Iloilo City PIO)

By Emme Rose Santiagudo

A total of 776 tricycles were intercepted for plying in the national highways in Iloilo City since January 2020, according to the Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO).

PSTMO head Jeck Conlu said they have been regulating tricycles on national roads even before the recent order of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

“Ongoing and sige-sige amon operation sa mga tricycles nga gabiyahe sa mga national highways. Before nag-issue liwat ang DILG may ara man mga previous memorandums banning them from highways,” he said on Thursday.

DILG on Monday issued Memorandum Circular No. 2020-027 mandating LGUs to do a second round of road clearing in national, city, provincial, municipal, and barangay roads.

DILG Secretary has also ordered local chief executives to strictly implement the ban on tricycles, pedicabs, and motorized pedicabs on national highways.

Following the orders of the national government, Conlu said that they will double their effort in conducting joint operations in the metro next week.

“We will double our effort and this time it will be a joint operation starting next week to strictly implement the memorandum order,” he said.

However, Conlu said that they are still contemplating how to regulate tricycle operators which were awarded by the city government with franchises.

Ang challenge because may mga franchise na-issue sa mga tricycles. They were issued by the motor tricycle operators permit (MTOP),” he said.

Conlu said some of these tricycles are now operating in the city roads that were now converted into national roads.

“Before indi pa sila national roads and ang mga na-cater nila nga passengers ang wala pa ruta ang mga jeep,” he said.

He said that they are estimating 5,000 tricycles in the metro. Half of which are unregistered.

Meanwhile, around 3,000 were granted a franchise by the city government and some 1,300 have renewed their MTOP.

The PSTMO chief said that they are looking into considering tricycles with franchises from the banning order especially the routes with no other mode of transport.

May mga areas nga naga-serve lang tricycle, indi mo na pwede kuhaon kay sin-o dira ang ma-serve kon wala na tricycle amo na indi man pwede sila kuhaon,” he lamented.

According to Conlu, they are meeting with other stakeholders to clarify the said issues and to review the existing ordinances in a workshop on the city’s long-overdue local public transport route plan (LPTRP).

“It’s a very complex issue. Our goal is really to identify ang mga routes kon diin lang sila pwede kaagi,” he said.

Conlu said the city government is working together to resolve the issue before the 75-day deadline ordered by DILG.