By MB Online
Beginning this year, all gasoline-powered tricycles, kuliglig (motorized rickshaw) and pedicabs (bicycles with sidecars) will be removed from the streets of Manila and replaced with environment-friendly electric tricycles or e-trikes.
Mayor Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada confirmed the city government’s plan to remove all three-wheeled motorized vehicles from city streets.
The mayor said that starting this year, there will be no more kuligligs, gasoline-run tricycles and pedicabs plying the streets of Manila in a bid to make the city the e-trike capital of the Philippines.
“Gusto natin na makilala ang Manila na isang green city. Isang lungsod na maaliwalas, where people can travel on e-trikes, na walang maingay na tambutso at malinis,” Estrada said. (We want Manila to become known as a green city, clean, and without the noise of motorcycles.)
Estrada said the e-trike is a seven-seater vehicle that can travel up to 80 kilometers in a single four-hour charge.
There are currently about 20,000 tricycles plying the city streets.
The mayor added that they will distribute 10,000 units of e-trikes to qualified tricycle drivers from Manila.
The e-trike will be paid through a “drive-to-own” scheme, where the operator-driver will pay P150 a day without interest and to be paid within a four-year period.
The city government has already distributed e-trikes to a number of operator-drivers in Binondo, Sta. Cruz area, Malate, and Ermita.
The city government will set up pickup stations and two charging stations that will be made available to e-trike operators.
More e-trike stations will be installed in the university belt area, Port Area, and other major routes in the city.
The mayor said that aside from being better for the environment, e-trikes will help increase the income of tricycle drivers.
Research shows that tricycle drivers are paying a daily boundary of P150 and are spending P200 for their gasoline.
“Ibig sabihin, kailangan nila na kumita muna ng P350 per day, bago sila may maiuwi sa kanilang pamilya,” explained the Mayor. (This means they need to earn P350 before they can go home to their families at the end of the day.)
With the e-trike, the driver will not spend a single centavo for gasoline and the battery charging will be shouldered by the city government.
“Kailangan natin ang mahihirap na guminhawa naman, at sa pamamagitan ng ating e-trike program, hindi na sila mahihirapan pa sa boundary system, they are only required to pay a daily fee between PHP 150 and PHP 200, and after four years, sila na ang may-ari ng e-trike. Sila na ang boss at wala na silang amo na ba-boundaryhan,”Estrada said. (We want our poor families to live a better life and through this program, they do not need to struggle to come up with the mandatory boundary. After four years of easy installments, they will be the owners of the e-trikes. They will be the boss.)