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Caloocan residents protest illegal trikes

Komfie Manalo

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While tricycles offer a convenient means of transportation, residents of Morning Breeze Subdivision in Caloocan City complain the vehicles obstruct roads and its drivers are not village residents. Photograph by Komfie Manalo for the Daily Tribune

Residents of Morning Breeze Subdivision in Caloocan City are up in arms over the resumption of illegal tricycle operations inside their village after the national government transitioned Metro Manila to a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

In an interview with Daily Tribune, Morning Breeze Subdivision-Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (MBS-TODA) president Randy Tomas said they were given the green light by the city government under Mayor Oscar “Oca” Malapitan to resume operations effective 16 May, coinciding with the easing of some quarantine measures in select areas in Luzon.

“We were already issued a permit to operate by the City Mayor and the Caloocan Department of Public Safety and Traffic Management (DPSTM) OIC (officer-in-charge) (Jay Bernardo),” Tomas said.

He also presented a copy of the permit issued by the DPSTM.

The MBS-TODA president insisted they are limiting the number of passengers per vehicle to one, in compliance with the strict rule issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Likewise, drivers are required to wear a face shield and a mask, while their tricycles must have a plastic sheet to separate the driver and passenger.

But passengers must pay a special rate for every trip, P40, to pay for four persons.

Meanwhile, legitimate residents of Morning Breeze complain members of the MBS-TODA do not have a tricycle terminal, but instead use both sides of the street to off-load, pick up and wait for passengers.

They said their obstruction of major roads is in violation of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular 2019-121 issued on 29 July 2019 to return to public use all roads and sidewalks that have been appropriated for private use.

Residents added that MBS-TODA tricycle operators and drivers are not even from their subdivision, but are from a distant village.

Last week, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) said the operation of tricycles may be allowed by the local government and the DILG.

“(Tricycles) are under the jurisdiction of LGU/DILG. Sila ang makakasagot n’yan (They are the ones who are responsible for that),” DoTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran said.

Under the new set of guidelines issued by the IATF, rail transport, buses, jeepneys, taxis and transport network vehicles services remain banned in MECQ areas, similar to the ECQ.

However, there may be exceptions allowed for tricycles, subject to guidelines from the DILG and the local government.

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