Thursday, January 19, 2017

Pay back time:
City exacts fines for abusive 
drivers at permit renewals

TAGBILARAN CITY, January 11 (PIA)--Just keep them coming, city mayor john Geesnell Yap urges commuters who felt cheated by the rowdy and abusive attitude of tricycle drivers in the city. 

What the mayor means, is for the commuters to keep on helping the city government impose discipline among drivers who have the practice to hack out big on commuters who have apparently no other choice but take the ride for convenience. 

Often the butt of talk as the worst the city has to showcase to tourists, several tricycle drivers have been accused of overcharging, choosing passengers, refusing to convey for disagreement on fare tariffs or just plain keeping commuters hostage using their exorbitant fare rates. 

As always, the city government, through its City Traffic Management Office (CTMO), which has the authority to grant permits and franchises to tricycles, own the responsibility to keep the drivers in line with the fair policies, the young Mayor Yap reiterated at the Kapihan sa PIA last week. 

CTMO Chief and retired police officer Antonio Samante revealed that they have a regular schedule for tricycle drivers seminars but also admits some tricycle units have drivers on rotating schedules. 

This makes it complicated when a commuter complaints against a tricycle by noting the body number. 

According to city traffic authorities, commuters who complain should note the tricycle body number and the driver when possible. 

Then they must get to the CTMO office at the old City Hall and file their complaints, CTMO officials said.

The CTMO then invites the tricycle driver to a meeting with the complainant for payment of penalties or settlement. 

It was also noted that there are still some tricycle drivers who shrug off the CTMO invitation, but the mayor insists, they can not run from their responsibilities. 

Come January, or the beginning of the fiscal year, all tricycles would have to get new permits to operate, that same time when the city would demand the piling penalties.

You may not believe it but there is somebody who would need to pay as much as P6,000 in penalties along, the mayor revealed. 

But he stressed the need for commuters to report the abuses so the city could exact discipline. 

As the mayor reiterates, "we are not after the fines," he also hinted that committing to discipline drivers would be the best they can to do give to tourists a good impression for Tagbilaran and Bohol. 

The past year allowed the city government to fund the putting up of state of the art traffic lights, which mesmerize several drivers losing the beginning seconds of the green light, the mayor also observed. 

The adaptation stage, he readily commented. 

The worst case scenario, if the problem is not curbed within the year, revocation of the franchises may happen, warned city administrator Leonides Borja, during a chance interview. 

This too as talk about phasing out the tricycles for looped service multicabs is gaining ground in social circles. 

Owing to the narrow city streets, increasing number of vehicles and decreasing road traffic volume by scrapping the tricycles, the multicab service has been the most viable solution so far. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)
Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell Yap assured that complaints against abusive drivers are acted upon, even as he also made sure that traffic lights, modern street lamps and concrete roads would help make Tagbilaran City a place of investments. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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