Former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go yesterday urged the Department of Transportation (DoTr) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to work together and organize a summit for all Tricycle Operators and Drivers Associations (TODA).
“Nananawagan ako sa DoTr at DILG na magtulungan para magdaos ng isang summit para sa lahat ng TODA sa ating bansa. Sana maisagawa ito sa lalong madaling panahon,” Go said.
Go usually takes time to talk to TODA members whenever he visits fire victims, not only to remind them to stay away from drugs but also to hear their concerns. He said the concerned national government agencies must respond to the needs and recommendations of tricycle operators and drivers.
Go pointed out that inputs from the TODA members during the summit can help improve the regulation of tricycles all over the country that would, in turn, ensure the viability of the livelihood of tricycle operators and drivers.
“Marami silang mga hinaing na dapat marinig ng national government. At sila na rin mismo ay maraming mga suggestion kung ano ang mga dapat gawin para maging maayos ang takbo ng kanilang hanapbuhay at serbisyo sa ating mga kababayan,” said Go, who is running for senator in the 2019 elections.
Under the Local Government Code of 1991, the regulation of tricycles and the granting of franchises for their operation are carried out by local government units (LGUs) through their respective Sanggunian.
On the other hand, the licenses of tricycle drivers and the registration of their vehicles are responsibilities that remain with the Land Transportation Office.
According to a Supreme Court (SC) ruling, removing such functions from the LTO would result to a surge in theft of tricycles as stolen tricycles can simply be registered in another local government unit.
In the same way, allowing LGUs to issue licenses for tricycle drives could lead to the proliferation of fake licenses as a driver who fail the LTO test, or whose license was confiscated, can simply get a replacement from one municipality, the SC said.
Go noted that the lack of a uniform set of rules on tricycle regulation and the grant of permits and franchises had created a situation where some LGUs subjected TODA members to unreasonable fees and requirements. There are also different rules in determining the routes available for the TODA.
“Sana magkaroon tayo ng iisang batayan para sa mga regulasyong ipapatupad natin para sa mga TODA para naman maging patas sa lahat at maging maayos ang kanilang serbisyo sa kanilang lugar,” Go said.
He noted that TODAs provide crucial transportation services to the public.
“Mula sa mga syudad hanggang sa malayong barangay sa ating bansa, sila yung nagseserbisyo kung saan walang jeep at walang bus. Sila yung nakakapasok pag maliliit ang eskinita. Sa mga probinsya ang mga tricycle ang karaniwang inaasahan mula sa pagdadala ng paninda hanggang panghatid sa mga eskwela. Hindi matatawaran ang kanilang serbisyo sa bayan,” Go said.
Earlier, Go said he decided to run for the Senate because he wants to serve the people with the same honest and sincere public service shown by his mentor, President Rodrigo Duterte.