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The City Council will wait upon the opinion of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) before it finally takes action on the issue pertaining to the banning of tricycles on the national highways in Puerto Princesa.
The plenary came to this resolve Monday during the regular session after Councilor Patrick Hagedorn pointed in the letter of DILG Secretary Eduardo Año dated May 24, 2019, a statement saying that his office entrusts to DOTr recommendations regarding the Council’s earlier request to exempt Puerto Princesa from prohibiting tricycles to ply along national highways.
“I would like to clarify, ito ay nag-ugat doon sa resolusyon natin na humihingi tayo ng exemption from the DILG at sumagot naman po ‘yong DILG. Pero po dito sa last part ng sagot ni Secretary Eduardo Año ay malinaw na nakalagay na, ‘In any case considering that RA 7160 subjects the regulation of the operation of tricycles and grant franchises for the operation thereof within the territorial jurisdiction of the municipality or city to the DOTC/DOTr, we shall defer to their comments and recommendations on resolution no. 1263 series of 2018. A copy of the resolution should be furnished to DOTC for their appropriate action.’ Ngayon, malinaw na dine-defer, ibig-sabihin malinaw na dine-delegate ng DILG sa DOTC,” said Hagedorn.
“Para sa akin dito tayo bumabase kaya tayo nandito ngayon, kaya tayo nag-uusap dahil dito sa sulat. Pero malinaw naman na nakalagay sa sulat na ibinibigay ni Secretary Eduardo Año sa DOTC/DOTr rang rekomendasyon patungkol sa ating sulat. So kung walang rekomendasyon ng DOTC/DOTr ay dapat humingi tayo at ‘yon ang pagbabasehan natin dahil iyon ang sinabi ng secretary, malinaw naman po,” he added.
It was in the last quarter of 2018 when the City Council through its resolution no. 1263 requested the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to exempt Puerto Princesa from the implementation of Memorandum Circular No. 2007-01, which bans tricycle and pedicab operations on the national roads.
Atty. Philip Jerome Hilario, secretary to the Sanggunian, also confirmed that the City Council has not yet received any letter from DOTr pertaining to this matter.
Councilor Elgin Damasco, the City Council’s committee on transportation chair, agreed with Hagedorn and said his perspective is right.
“Tama po ang pananaw ni Kagalang-galang Patrick Hagedorn. Ang akin pong recommendation bago tayo gumawa siguro ng aksyon ay antayin natin kung ano ang opinion ng DOTC. Maliban po sa sulat sa atin, tama po ‘yong nakita na punto ng ating kagalang-galang na Patrick Hagedorn,” said Damasco.
Damasco said the City Council will write the DOTr and wait for its legal opinion.
Councilor Peter Maristela also raised his perspective on one of the guidelines of DOTr, which says that tricycles and pedicabs must be banned on national highways with the normal speed that exceeds 40 kilometers per hour.
Maristela reiterated that some of the national highways in the city like in Barangay San Pedro and along Rizal Avenue to be specific, do not exceed the speed of 40 kilometers per hour.
“Ibig-sabihin po kung ang national highway ang normal speed niya kahit na national highway ay hindi more than 40 kilometers per hour ay pupuwede po ang tricycle,” he said.
Maristela also suggested that aside from the letter to DOTr, representatives from the City Council must also talk personally to Año to explain these concerns.
DILG city director Virgilio Tagle told Palawan Daily News (PDN) in an interview that an appointment to see Año in person is possible, but on what his response would be has no assurance yet.
Tagle also said he cannot even say as of the moment the weight of the recommendations and comments of DOTr on the decision of the City Council.
“In fact hindi ko alam kung ano ang coverage noong authority or guidelines na hinihintay nila sa DOTr,” said Tagle.
Prior to this resolve of the City Council Monday, a meeting with stakeholders on Saturday, January 18, was conducted by the City Government, which came to the conclusion that a dry-run on tricycle ban will start by February 1.