By Chito Chavez
To address numerous complaints raised by tricycle operators and drivers, Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte has proposed certain amendments to the 2014 ordinance regulating the operation of for-hire tricycles in the city.
The proposed revisions were agreed upon during the series of dialogues with legitimate tricycle operators and drivers associations (TODAs) that have been complaining of alleged illegal practices of the city’s Tricycle Regulatory Unit (TRU).
“We believe these amendments are necessary and should be discussed by the City Council for the benefit of thousands of tricycle drivers and operators in Quezon City,” Belmonte said.
In 2014, Belmonte, as presiding officer of the City Council, led the approval of Ordinance No. SP-2337-2014 or “The Quezon City Tricycle Management Code of 2014” that comprehensively addresses the aspects of tricycle operations, regulations and social protection for the local tricycle sector.
Among the proposed revisions is the lowering of fine in redeeming the impounded motorcycles from P3,000 to only P1,500, according to Belmonte.
Atop the proposed P1,500 fine, the owner of the impounded motorcycle shall also pay an impounding fee of P200 and P50 per day storage fee.
“The owner of the impounded motorcycle may redeem his/her motorcycle within one year from the date of impounding or else it will be forfeited,” Belmonte pointed out, adding that the lower fee will be a big help to the lowly tricycle drivers and operators.
Furthermore, Belmonte, in agreement with the participating TODAs, also proposed the mandatory confiscation of colorum tricycle sidecars to discourage the proliferation of colorum tricycles in Quezon City.
The confiscated sidecars, Belmonte said, shall be disposed by the city government through public auction.
As to allegations of “tara” or corruption on insurance paid by franchisees, Belmonte said an ordinance on insurance policy will be filed by Councilor Ollie Belmonte, chairperson of the Committee on Transportation of the City Council.
TRU personnel will also be reshuffled regularly from their place of assignments to prevent illegal practices, Belmonte added.
Aside from Belmonte and her legislative staff at the Office of the Vice Mayor, those who attended the dialogue with the TODAs last week include Councilor Belmonte; Elmo San Diego, head of the Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS); Capt. Robert Dela Cruz, officer-in-charge of TRU; and Fidel Marcelo of the General Services Department.
There are over 24,600 tricycle units licensed to operate by the city government, all belonging to 150 tricycle operators and drivers’ associations or TODAs, according to Belmonte.
The number does not include an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 colorum tricycles operating in the city.
Only last August, TRU launched a crackdown against colorum tricycles, seizing and destroying over 100 sidecars in implementation of the Quezon City Tricycle Management Code of 2014.
The anti-colorum operation was conducted in support of the national government’s efforts in resolving the traffic congestion in Metro Manila and in response to the complaints from city residents and legitimate tricycle operators, Belmonte said.