Members of the National Capital Region Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association Coalition (NCR TODA Coalition) held a press conference today near Sandingan Bayan in Quezon City to raise their concern over the government's directive to totally ban tricycles along all major highways.
Ace Sevilla, president of the NCR TODA Coalition, said that instead of totally banning them along major highways, Local Government Units (LGUs) should follow what's prescribed in the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular 2020-036, where each city and municipality creates a tricycle task force separate from the tricycle regulatory boards to formulate or review their tricycle route plans.
“Sa lahat po ng memorandum circular na inilabas ng DILG, ito pong DILG circular na ito ang pinakamaganda... Tinuturuan, tinutulungan ng DILG ang mga local government kung papaano po gawin ang isang tricycle route plan. At malinaw din po sa kautusang dito na kung may ipinasang ordinansa, dapat po itong lagyan ng signages, guhitan, at nagsasabi ng isang babala na ang lugaring ito ay may dumadaloy o dumadaan na tricycle (Of all the memorandum circulars that the DILG has published, this one [memorandum circular 2020-036] is the best... the DILG is advising and educating LGUs on how to formulate a tricycle route plan. And it is clear in this memo that if there will be an ordinance, roads should be installed with signages and road markings to warn everyone that tricycles ply that road).”
Meanwhile, their members also expressed that the ban has significantly affected their livelihoods.
“Ngayon, natigil na po ang pagaaral ng mga anak namin (Now, our children have to stop going to school),” said one of their members. He shared how hard it is for them to make ends meet. With the new tricycle ban, almost all of their members either got a ticket or had their tricycles impounded by the authorities. This forces them to give up their earnings to pay for the fines and penalties. This hardship, according to the NCR TODA Coalition members, means no food on the table and their children unable to attend school.
The group clarified that they are not asking to ply the entire national highway. They are asking the government to formulate tricycle routes where that will legally allow them to operate on portions of a national highway.
“Pero kung gumagawa po ang LGU ng isang ordinansa at may mga signages na ang mga tricycle ay dapat manatili sa kanan, huwag bumaybay sa gitna, palagay ko magkakasundo-sundo po kaming lahat (If the LGU could create an ordinance with signages that say tricycles should only use the rightmost lane and not the inner lane, I think we could all be in agreement),” added Sevilla.
While strict enforcement was only recently done, tricycles and pedicabs have been banned from using major roads since 2007. This is under DILG Memorandum Circular 2007-01, which includes the prohibition of overloading said pedicabs and tricycles.