THE City Council is calling on the Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) to conduct clearing operations against illegal dispatchers or barkers for public utility vehicles in the city.
City Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya, head of the City Council Committee on Utility, said he received a lot of complaints lately regarding some dispatchers who go to the extent of grabbing and harassing women passengers.
He said some jeepney drivers were asked to give money in exchange for the passengers who board the vehicles, specifically in Barangay Iponan.
A driver of an Iponan liner, who requested anonymity, told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro that dispatchers are taking advantage of the drivers by harassing them to give money as “tong” if they passed by certain areas along Barangay Iponan to Bulua highway.
The driver said at least “three checkpoints” were set up by the dispatchers during peak hours who usually flag them down to ask for “tong”.
These checkpoints, he said, are located in Kinasanghan, Crossing Barra and Bulua.
He said if they wouldn’t give in to their demand, the dispatchers would get mad and would allegedly threaten them.
“We are forced to give because of this. Sometimes, we will unload passengers farther to evade the checkpoints. But the passengers would also complain especially if they have heavy baggage,” the driver said in the local dialect.
Nacaya said these harassments are violations of the City Traffic Code.
With this, he said he expects the RTA to do something about it.
“Dispatchers are only allowed in terminals and not in the city roads and highways,” Nacaya said.
Meanwhile, Nacaya is pushing for the implementation of the identification card (ID) system for jeepney conductors as he wants this to make a city ordinance.
Nacaya said the ID system, which was earlier requested by the RTA, hopes to minimize and control the proliferation of snatchers who pretend to be the jeepney’s conductor and snatch cell phones and other valuable items from the passengers.
He said this will easily identify the names of the conductor in case passengers would file complaints.