GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 8 Jan) – The city government has approved the release of 943 additional tricycle franchises as it moves to clean up the city’s streets of “colorum” or unregistered tricycles.
Geraldine Zamora, city permits and licensing division chief, said the release of the new tricycle franchises was based on the approval by City Mayor Ronnel Rivera of a recommendation made by the city’s Motorized Transport Franchising and Regulatory Board (MTFRB).
She said the additional tricycle franchises are part of the 3,000 earlier endorsed by the agency and the city council’s committee on transportation to address the proliferation of “colorum” tricycles within the city.
Zamora said these will be issued to owners of tricycles with green license plates or registered for private use that have applied for franchises or permits to operate for public conveyance.
She said priority will be given to applicants who have complied with the MTFRB’s requirements and already paid the franchise fee.
“The new franchises will only be issued to legitimate residents of the city,” said Zamora, who also heads the MTFRB.
She said among the requirements are the painting of the tricycle unit or side car to powder blue, which is the approved official color for MTFRB-registered tricycles in the city.
She said the units should have standard sizes or measurements and their operators and drivers should be holders of community tax certificates issued in the city.
The tricycle units must have properly installed seats, back rests and accessories like signal and brake lights, she said.
“We’re making sure that our tricycles are nice, presentable and comfortable to ride with since they are the main mode of transportation in the city,” Zamora said.
Meantime, as to the 2,000 other proposed additional tricycle franchises, the official said the board has not yet made any decision on the matter and they will meet again after the 943 franchises are given out.
The city government earlier launched a crackdown against “colorum” tricycles after it came out that a significant number of tricycle units plying various routes in the area have originated from nearby towns in South Cotabato and Sarangani provinces.
City officials earlier estimated that around 8,000 tricycles have been operating on a daily basis in various routes in the area.
But such figure was two-folds more than the actual number of tricycle franchises that have been issued by the MTFRB.
Glenvil Gonzales, assistant city administrator, earlier said they launched the crackdown after receiving numerous complaints about the proliferation of “colorum” tricycles, which were reportedly giving undue competition to the legitimate operators and drivers.
He said the move was aimed at protecting local commuters as well as the legitimate PUV operators and drivers.
“Colorum” tricycles are not covered by insurance and their passengers face the risk of not getting any compensation or financial help in case of accidents, he added.