ANOTHER group of motorela operators and drivers are asking for “adjustment” in the fare matrix of motorela.

The Federation of Motorela Operators and Drivers in Cagayan de Oro (FEMODCO) said the fare increase should depend on the price of gasoline.

Paul Cempron, FEMODCO president, said if the price of the gasoline falls under the P60 to P70 per liter bracket, the regular fare should be at P8, P7 for students, senior citizens and persons with disabilities, and P4 for elementary students.

If the price falls at P50 to P60, the fare will automatically go down for P1.

“The price adjustment is better than the fixed price that the other group proposed. Because in our petition, we can increase for as much as P8, unlike the first petition where the fare is fixed only at P7 and we cannot increase anymore even if the gasoline price is skyrocketing,” Cempron said.

A week ago, Alyansa-mp3 (Makatarunganong Usbaw, Pletehan alang sa Pamilya ug mga Pasahero), submitted that another petition to increase motorela fares from P6 to P7 for the minimum regular fare, P6 for students and senior citizens, and P3 for the kids.

The Alyansa-mp3 said the bracket scheme, which FEMODCO is pushing, should be trashed as it is not efficient and is usually not followed by passengers.

The group said a fixed price is better, saying they would not have to adjust as the price varies almost every day.

The new petition is the second one this month from motorela groups asking for a fare increase. It has been 8 years since the fare matrix was last updated.

Meanwhile, the same motorela group decried the City Government's move they described as a "subtle strategy" to make them become vulnerable to arrests by law enforcers.

Sonny Hinosolango, lead convenor of the alliance of 10 motorela groups in the city, said they were made to sign a document from the Busines Permits and Licensing Division (BPLD) as they comply the requirements for the renewal of their motorelas.

By signing the document called the "Oath of Undertaking Motorela Re-Registration and Re-Numbering", motorela operators will have to agree to operate only on a specified route. They will be limited not to ply along the national highways except across it, not transcend boundaries at any time, shall observe traffic rules, shall not duplicate motorela units, shall sport the IDs when driving, shall not allow top loading on the unit, and that failure to renew shall be ground to the cancellation of permits.

"It is an additional burden for us with these new rules, such as requiring us to remove the route board, bumper, carrier, repaint and above all, requiring us to change the form of our motorelas eventhough there is no official design of the vehicle," Hinosolango said.

City Administrator Teddy Sabuga-a, for his part, said every motorela operators and drivers were very much involved in the renumbering process.

Sabuga-a said all of the prohibitions indicated in the document are all "standard and already established", and are in fact stipulated in the city ordinance.

"What was stipulated there are not new rules, these are old rules, and they are just being reminded especially because the renewal process of the motorela plates are only being done once in every 10 years," Sabuga-a said.

The concurrent head of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWD) also said that these rules were mentioned repeatedly in seminars with motorela operators and drivers.

"What was stipulated there are pretty much common sense, of course you are not allowed to traverse the national highway, you are not allowed to go around in an area that is not your specified route, and motorelas are there to ferry passengers and not for heavy cargoes," he added.

Sabuga-a said the renewal of motorela plates was done to drive away colorum motorelas and update the list and information of the owners of the said transportation.

There are over 2,000 motorelas in the city. This kind of transportation is regulated by the city government.

"It's surprising we just heard of this complaint now, because we hear nothing in seminars that we conducted," he said.

Sabuga-a urged the group to go to City Hall for a dialogue with city officials and iron out the motorela operators' concerns.