THE TRICYCLE operators will continue to operate after the passing of the City Ordinance No.237-2020 or the “Ordinance Allowing the Operation of Tricycles along the National Highway within the Territorial Jurisdiction of the City of Masbate.”
In a Facebook post dated Feb. 15, 2020, the Masbate City Police Station (MCPS) announced that starting February 17, tricycles will now be strictly prohibited from plying the national roads and highways of the city. The same announcement was also made in one of the programs of a radio station in the city.
This is pursuant to Republic Act 4136 which compiles the laws “relative to land transportation and traffic rules, to create a land transportation commission and for other purposes,” and consistent to Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2007-07 or the “Basic Considerations in the Preparation of City or Municipal Tricycle and Pedicab Franchise and Regulatory Ordinance or Code.”
However, several commuters including tricycle operators expressed dismay and disagreed.
City Mayor Rowena Tuason, then called for a special meeting on Feb. 16 to discuss the DILG MC 2011-68 (issued last 2011) which reiterates the operation conditions for tricycles and pedicabs.
Among the provisions of the said MC is that tricycles may be allowed to operate in the national roads and highways if there is “no alternative roads network available.”
Consequently, City Information Officer Marol Ditan, in a facebook post on February 16, said the City Government and the City Police Station both agreed that the action taken by the MCPS last February 17 was merely for the purpose of information.
“Mientras na guina hulat an ordinansa san City Council na maga tugot sa operation san mga tricycle sa national highway dahil sa wara san iba na alternative routes hali sa mga barangay pakadi sa ciudad, dili anay paga disturbuhon an operation san mga tricycle sa City of Masbate,” he said.
On February 17, 2020 Tuason also called for a meeting with the Sangguniang Panlungsod headed by the City vice Mayor Ruby Morano together with City Legal Officer Atty. Lowell Pillejera for the adopting of the local measure allowing the operation of tricycles along national roads and highways due to unavailability of alternative routes in the City of Masbate.
After the said meeting, the Sangguniang Panlungsod also held a special session regarding the passage of an ordinance while a public hearing was scheduled on February 18, 2020 at 2pm at Magallanes Coliseum City of Masbate.
Around 800 tricycle operators with the different Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (TODA) presidents participated in the hearing.
Also present were Summer Hope Aycardo, LGOO VI /CGLOO of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Land and Transportation Office Province of Masbate Head Maricar Butalid, City PNP Chief Erwin Doma, and representatives of the Highway Police Patrol, City Planning and Development (CPDO) Coordinator Engr. Jerry Guadayo, Ditan, and the Masbate City Traffic Management and Tricycle Franchising Office (MCTMTFO) head Fausto Roy Rosero.
Vice Mayor Ruby Sanchez-Morano and Liga President Socrates Tuason presided the hearing. The proposed ordinance was presented during the public hearing and both parties agreed in its terms and conditions.
In Section 3 of the City Ordinance, the tricycle that only allowed to operate are those who has granted with franchise sanctioned by the MCTMFTO. The tricycle operator must also have driver’s license issued by the LTO.
The National Highway is defined in the City Ordinance as every public thoroughfare, Public Boulevard, avenue, or main roads that connects to other municipalities, but shall not include roadways upon grounds owned by private persons, colleges, universities, or other similar institutions.
In Section 4, it was written in the scope and coverage of the city ordinance that all tricycle may operate in the portions of the national highway within the territorial jurisdiction of the City of Masbate considering that that there is no alternative route established as per the DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2007-01. Provided further, that all tricycles shall remain at the outermost lane of the national highway.
The boundary of Quezon Rotonda to Brgy. Tugbo, Asid and Mapina shall be open to tricycle operations due to unavailability of alternative modes of transportation and appropriate service routes.
They also discussed the Section 5 or the prohibited acts stated in the ordinance, first, all tricycles utilizing the national highway shall not exceed the 40kph speed limit except if the tricycle is used as an emergency vehicle as defined under City Ordinance No. 223-19. Second, wanton traveling through the center lanes of the national highway; third, parking of tricycle upon or along national highways not intended for vehicular parking; fourth, driving tricycle in such manner as to obstruct or impede the passage of any vehicle, nor while discharging or taking passengers or loading or unloading freight, obstruct the free passage of other vehicle in the highway. Lastly, all tricycles shall remain at the outermost lane of the national highway.
Any tricycle operator who violates the Section 5 of the City ordinance will be reprimanded and fined of P1, 000.00 for the 1st offense, P2, 000.00 for the 2nd offense and for the 3rd offense the revocation of franchise and a fine of P3, 0000.00.
The day after the public hearing the 7th City Council hold again a special session to approve and revised the proposed ordinance.
The same day, Tuason approved the ordinance. This move was welcomed by tricycle operators.