TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines– Mayor Jefferson Soriano has assured visitors the city will protect them against abusive tricycle drivers particularly during the week-long Cagayan Valley Regional Athletic Association (CAVRAA) meet here which opens Sunday, February 23
“I want them to speak Tagalog not English,” the Mayor said in jest in this morning’s press conference at the City Hall.
Andres Baccay, head of the Tricycle Regulatory Unit(TRU) said signage on the prevailing tricycle fares will be established in all schools where athletes and coaches will be billeted including strategic places in the city. A TRU mobile sub-office will likewise be established in front of the Maria House of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines to receive complaints from commuters.
The hotline number, at mobile photo number 09055706809, is likewise included to cater to the complaints particularly those attending the annual meet.
“We have explained what we want to achieve and we asked their cooperation in the conduct of the CAVRAA and likewise two other conventions of national scope schedule first week of next month,” Soriano said.
The move is to avoid possible embarrassment not only to the city officials but likewise to the entire “premiere city of the Ibanags” after it earned a national reputation as the ‘home of English speaking tricycle drivers.”
Based on reported testimonies from victims, some of the drivers when flagged down asked passengers if they are willing to pay for ‘special,’ ‘capacity, or ‘boundary’ to bring them to their destinations. The ‘capacity’ has earned notoriety for the city and created jokes circulating around the region that, in fact, there are two cities in Cagayan; Tuguegarao City and Capa City.’
‘Capacity’ means the passenger is expected to pay the sitting capacity of the tricycle which is seven persons. A ‘special’ as the word suggests means the passenger can used the tricycle from point to point. The payment depends on the number of points travelled and the distance. The’ boundary’ means the passenger will pay the boundary of the driver for the tricycle. A boundary is the about submitted by the driver to the owner-operator of the vehicle which ranges from Ph80 to Ph120 per day.
Such practice has been going for less than two decades, unabated, despite ordinances and other local laws to protect commuters against the drivers.
“ We, bona fide residents of Tuguegarao never do that. We believe it’s the handy work of tricycles not registered in the city,” a driver, who requested not to be identified, said.
The Presidents of the various Tricycles Owners and Drivers Association in the city said they have been harping on the members such issues but at times, there are those who go wayward.
“We need the cooperation of the public. We can’t move without a complaint on our hands,” Vice-Mayor Binvenido De Guzman said in an earlier interview.
De Guzman said the city council has organized a task force since last year which check on erring drivers particularly those who drive unregistered tricycles.
The Cagayan media said the CAVRAA will be another test on law enforcement against such tricycle drivers. Benjie De Yro/Northernforum.net