The City Council approved on Monday, May 7, the petition for a P1 increase in motorela fare, the first in 10 years, to help motorela drivers cope with the increasing prices of basic commodities.

The measure now awaits the signature of City Mayor Oscar Moreno. As soon as it is signed, the new motorela regular fare would be P7.

The motorela, or rela, is a variant of the tricycle and is the common mode of transport in Cagayan de Oro City.

City Councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr., chairman of the committee on public utilities, said the rising cost of petroleum products and commodities is one of the reasons that prompted them to approve the petition of two transport groups.

Under the newly-approved ordinance, the new motorela rate is set at P7 for the regular fare, P5.50 for high school and college students, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities (PWDs), and P4 for elementary pupils.

The new ordinance punishes drivers found guilty for overcharging, which carries an administrative fine of P500.

The motorela group requested for a fare increase from P5 to P6 for students, senior citizens and PWDs but Lao said they cannot give the P1 increase for this category because it is prohibited by law.

"It's in the law that you do not exceed 20-percent increase for this group, so we instead approved a 50-centavo increase," he said.

Two motorela groups, the Alyansa-mP3 (Makatarunganong Usbaw, Pletehan alang sa Pamilya ug mga Pasahero) and the Federation of Motorela Operators and Drivers in Cagayan de Oro (FEMODCO) had submitted the petitions to increase fare rates.