A TRANSPORT group in Cagayan de Oro cried foul over the intensified campaign of the Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) to penalize motorela drivers for overloading violations, saying it has significantly affected their earnings.
Ringo Lago, secretary-general of the Solidarity of Transport in Region 10-Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Starex-Piston), said 12 motorela leaders gathered over the weekend as they plan to write to Mayor Oscar Moreno over what they call as "crackdown" to motorela drivers and operators.
"They increased the fare from P6 to P7 but with this overloading violation, our earnings are affected," Lago said.
Lago said the ordinance only allows seven passengers, including the motorela driver but he pointed out that the motorela can actually allow a total of nine passengers.
Lago said they are pushing to amend this clause in the ordinance as "this rule does not apply today."
"We have been saying that this ordinance is outdated and obsolete, and the city should focus into this so we can move forward," he said.
Lago said several motorela drivers have already been penalized with as much as P1,500 for overloading.
The group will write to the mayor and the City Council to air their concerns this week, and hopefully change the policy.
Ruel Mondelo, in charge of RTA's Traffic Special Service Section, asked for understanding from the drivers and operators as they too are only following city laws.
"During our seminars, we really try our best to make them understand of this particular rule. They have to understand that it is dangerous to allow passengers to be seated in front because drivers will find it hard to see their side mirrors," Mondelo said.
He said they will also force the passenger seated in front to transfer at the back, in the event that the back area of the motorela still has space.
Councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr., chairperson of the committee on public, urged the group to pass their position papers and expressed his willingness to hear their concerns.