Trike drivers’ group opposes DILG tricycle ban from national highways

QUEZON CITY – Transport groups coalition led by tricycle drivers and operators filed on Monday morning a petition against the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) move to ban tricycles on major roads and national highways nationwide. 

Members of the National Public Transport Coalition, led by the National Confederation of Tricycle and Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (NACTODAP), with the Lawyers for Commuters Safety and Protection (LCSP) led by Atty. Ariel Inton filed the petition at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court. 

This move, according to Atty. Inton, is to question the DILG’s directive to local government units (LGUs) to strictly enforce the ban last month after it issued Memorandum Circular 2020-036 ordering the prohibition of tricycles on national highways and major roads across the country. 

Attorney Maridelle Ramos of the LCSP said said the petition questions the DILG’s move, which the group tagged as “unjust,” as it directly affects commuters especially those from distant villages, as well as the livelihood of tricycle drivers.  

She added that there are different kinds of national highways and there are provinces that the national highways are the only roads that connect barangays within a municipality or city. 

Ramos said the DILG order “currently has no basis” as the circular should be supported by an ordinance issued by the local government before being implemented.  

Last month, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año ordered LGUs to form their respective “Trike Task Force” to ban tricycles from plying national highways and major thoroughfares and to draw up tricycle routes plans in their areas.

Año even warned LGUs that “non-compliance to the latest directive will warrant the issuance of a show-cause order, and failure to provide a sufficient response shall be a ground for the filing of appropriate administrative cases pursuant to Section 60 of the Local Government Code and other laws and policies.”

“Bahagi ito ng harassment sa hanay ng kabuhayan naming nasa transport sector. Tungkulin ng nasa gobyernong lokal at nasyonal na hanapan sila ng alternatibong ruta,” PISTON President Modesto Floranda said. 

NACTODAP National President Ariel Lim also urged lawmakers to make a move against the DILG’s memorandum since he said most of their constituents means of livelihood will be severely affected by the ban.

Lim assured he doesn’t want to go on strike but rather went through the legal process and will wait for the DILG’s response.

The group also aired their fear that the DILG policy would be used by the government to introduce Euro 4-compliant multi-cab units to replace tricycles as public utility vehicles (PUV).

They also asked for the temporary suspension of the implementation of the DILG memorandum as they call for a moratorium on apprehensions against the ranks of tri-wheel drivers and operators.

“We are not against finding a solution if it can help with the traffic problem to ease commuter woes, but don’t remove our livelihood or passages because we too have the right to use Philippine roads because we are among those paying for them,” Lim said. 

Lim claimed that the 1.7 million tricycles nationwide consist of 60 percent of the payers of Roads Users’ Tax among PUVs.

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