SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House committee on Metro Manila development chaired by Rep. Winston Castelo on Wednesday inked a memorandum of agreement with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Department of Transportation Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT), and Quezon City Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (TODA) on tricycle regulations, which may possibly allow the vehicles to ply the innermost lanes of national roads if there no other alternative routes available.
The MOA shall be endorsed by the I-ACT to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), to give the TODA more teeth in areas where the association requests use of national roads.
To maintain responsible and orderly road use, the MOA lists conditions to be fulfilled before a road can be opened to tricycles : 1) Tricycle Regulatory Unit (TRU) chief and TODA of the area must first confirm and agree that there are no other roads in the area that can accommodate the tricycles; and 2) Tricycles are also prohibited from overtaking other vehicles and must remain in a single file in the innermost lane of the road.
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Board Member and I-ACT Spokesperson Atty. Aileen Lizada explained that tricycles are used by commuters to reach areas not served by other public utility vehicles. Therefore, tricycles are not comparable to other light vehicles, such as motorcycles and bicycles, allowed on major roads.
MMDA Traffic Supervising Officer for Operations Edison Nebrija agreed that the prohibitions promote and ensure the safety of both the tricycle drivers and their passengers.
However, the agency officials expressed willingness to confer with stakeholders to accommodate and implement the MOA.
The MOA also covers considerations of stakeholders on the maximum allowable capacity of tricycles, passenger insurance, and the LTFRB’s jurisdiction on tricycles.
Lizada emphasized that tricycles in Quezon City are required by the city ordinance to have up to four passengers only, including the driver.
TODA representatives from Parañaque however noted that they are permitted up to five passengers including the driver due to the back-to-back seating of Parañaque tricycles.
As such, Castelo called on TRU-Qezon City representative Jerry Fronda to consider allowing the same for tricycles in other parts of Metro Manila.
“Pare-pareho naman ang itsura ng mga tricycle. Bakit ‘yong Parañaque pwedeng lima? ‘Yong Las Piñas at Pasay apat yata. Bakit ‘yong Quezon City tatlo lang? That is unfair. Hindi nila na-mamaximize ang byahe nila. Kakaunti ang byahe, apektado ang kita. Sa hirap ng buhay, i-maximize na natin para mabigyan natin ng tulong ang TODA,” says Castelo.
The committee also agreed on a new insurance plan for tricycles. Lizada said that the Philam Asset Management, Inc. (PAMI) and the SCCI Management and Insurance Agency Corp. can offer tricycle drivers a plan with up to thirty-eight benefits, including legal assistance, ambulance assistance, and third-party liability (TPL), among others.
The P400 plan, which covers both passengers and non-passengers, would render unnecessary the mandatory TPL insurance fee paid by drivers to the LTO upon their registration.
The new insurance plan will be shouldered by the operators, not the drivers. Castelo said that the committee will also draft a proposal to have the House subsidize the expense for Quezon City operators.
Castelo also clarified that the jurisdiction over the tricycles is devolved to the local government units (LGU), in accordance to the LGU code. The LTFRB, therefore, is not the authority to regulate tricycle operations.
Meanwhile, Senior Citizen Party List Rep. Francisco Datol said his party could offer medical assistance to tricycle drivers aged 60 and above./ CMB Engracia & M. Gonzales