LEADERS of the different motorela organizations in Cagayan de Oro City have gathered over the weekend to launch a unified action against the "anti-poor" and "anti-motorela drivers and operators" policies imposed against them.
The meeting was also aimed at forming a federation of motorela associations that would advance the issues and voices of the ordinary drivers and small time operators in the city.
Ringo Lago, spokesperson of the Solidarity of Transport Alliance in Northern Mindanao (Starex-Piston), said the federation will conduct regular meetings, consultations and planning and identify programs beneficial to the drivers and operators.
The federation is named United Motorela Operators and Drivers in Cagayan de Oro.
"Mao kini atong iduso nga ngalan sa federation nga maoy magdala sa mga issue ug tingog sa mga motorela drivers and operators (We will endorse this name for the federation. This will serve as the voice of the motorela drivers and operators)," Lago said.
One of the policies that the group wants the City Government to address is the supposed motorela modernization program and overloading capacity which for them has deprive drivers to earn bigger income.
Lago said under the modernization is the change of the physical structure of motorela units.
He said the group does not totally object the modernization program but they are asking for a five-year transition period so drivers and operators can prepare.
"Tumong man niini nga mapaayo ang hitsura sa motorela pero dili dayon unta diha-diha ipatuman (Despite its goal to be for the good of the motorela but it shouldn’t be imposed immediately)," he said.
Lago also said the City Government has planned to conduct inventory of the motorela units and have them marked with stickers indicating the passenger capacity which would make law enforcers' job easier in apprehending violators.
"Diha sa inventory, butangan nila og stickers ang windshield kung pila ang capacity kay aron para sayun nila ang pangdakop (They should put stickers in the windshield to know the capacity so it would be easier for them to apprehend)," Lago said.
He said the ordinance on overloading capacity only allows seven passengers including the driver. It also prohibits drivers to have the front seats occupied.
"Ilang gipatas-an tuod ang plitehan pero mas nigamay ang kita sa mga drivers tungod aning overloading capacity (Indeed they increased the fare but it affected the income of the drivers because of overloading capacity)," he added.
Lago said the inventory will begin on December.
The transport group leader said the federation's petition will be forwarded to the City Hall next week.