DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio will not hesitate to ban the operation of tricycle drivers if she continues to receive overcharging complaints from passengers.
“Pwede nato ipa-stop. Kung dili mahunong nang complaints about tricycle driver nga overcharging sa ilahang plite. Pwede nato ipahunong tanang tricycle. Pwede ra gyud kaayo (We can stop their operation if we would continue to receive complaints about tricycle drivers overcharging their fares. We can actually stop the operation of all tricycles here.),” Duterte-Carpio said on Monday, April 6, in a radio interview via 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.
She said the city allowed the operation of tricycles and taxis in the city, despite the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to cater workers exempted from the closure order.
Those working at the groceries; supermarkets; wet markets or palengkes; food commissaries; food manufacturing; food delivery services; wholesale stores; convenience stores; sari-sari stores; hospitals; gas stations; business process outsourcing or call center agents; medical laboratories; pharmacies; drugstores; banks; saving and credit cooperatives; money-transfer services; other delivery services; construction hardware; doctor’s and dentist’s clinics; water refilling stations; LPG stations; and media outlets are still allowed to continue to work. However, if possible, they must have a skeleton workforce arrangement and must follow physical distancing between employees.
While she said the city government augmented free bus rides to five areas in the city -- Toril, Calinan, Lasang, Cabantian, and Mandug -- she said, it cannot cater to everyone.
The mayor added there are also areas in the city that rely on tricycles in going to public markets.
“Naa ra mana dinha ang mga tricycle because dunay mga areas, gitan-aw man gud namo ang radius sa mga markets, lagyo kaayo ang atoang mga public markets. Iyang area nga macover is more than five kilometers, which is lisod na lakwon pauli gikan sa palengke (Tricycles were allowed to operate to serve those within the five-kilometer radius of the markets. Though some are living within the radius, it is not easy for some to walk from their homes to the market and vice versa),” she said.
Duterte-Carpio said since the ECQ started, she had been receiving complaints of overcharging. She warned them to follow the prescribed minimum fare, or they would be barred from traversing on the streets.
City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) head Dionisio Abude previously said individuals should report tricycle drivers overcharging their fares for immediate apprehension.
According to the city ECQ, which was implemented on April 4 under the virtue of Executive Order (EO) No. 23, and the recently amended EO No. 23-A, taxis and tricycles are still allowed to operate provided they follow the social distancing guidelines issued by the Department of Transportation (DOTr). Taxis are allowed to cater to one passenger in front and back, and tricycles are allowed to cater to one passenger in front and back.
Other forms of transportation are, however, allowed to operate provided they follow the social distancing guidelines issued by the Department of Transportation (DOTr): private vehicles and taxis (one passenger in front and back); tricycle (one passenger in front and back); single rider motorcycle or bicycle; free bus rides hired by the city government.
Meanwhile, Duterte-Carpio explained in an issued statement the need for the city to augment these transport vehicles.
She said that based on the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular 2020-062 on March 21, 2020, “transportation should also be provided by LGUs for those seeking to avail of these basic services such as those needing to go to the hospital or clinics, or those who have limited access to establishments providing basic necessities. LGUs are reminded to exercise strict social distancing measures, including appropriate health protocols.”
She added this was the city government’s basis in allowing tricycles and taxis during the implementation of the ECQ.
“If the City Government of Davao will not allow taxis and tricycles to move the general public for their basic necessities, we will be caught in an absurd situation where people who own vehicles can easily move around and the general public would resort to walking more than 20 kilometers just to buy food and other basic necessities,” Duterte-Carpio said.
Meanwhile, she encouraged everyone to help in proposing any other means in helping the city find a solution in transporting essential workers who will be affected by the lack of mass transportation, especially when the curfew will be implemented from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The mayor also said she is ready for any investigation from DILG and the National Bureau of Investigation should they question her on allowing tricycles and taxis to operate under ECQ.