Malaybalay drivers, operators back proposed Magna Carta for tricycle sector 

By Vergel R. Dolosa

Motorcycle cabs ply a route in Malaybalay City. Photo by Vergel R. Dolosa/BukidnonNews.Net

MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/16 July 2019) Local motorcycle cab drivers and operators welcomed the proposed Magna Carta for Tricycle Drivers and Operators, a bill filed in Congress to protect the welfare of the sector.

Arlindo C. Rañoa, president of Macfumoda or the Malaybalay City Federation and United Motorela Operators Drivers Association, said they are advocating for its immediate approval.

“Dako kaayo ni nga tabang kanamo kung maaprobahan kay makahatag man ni og window of opportunities para mulambo ang among sektor,” (This is a big help if approved because it gives a window of opportunities to boost our sector) Rañoa said.

Senate Bill 1751 aims to promote, recognize and protect the rights of every worker in the tricycle sector.

Sen. Grace Poe, chair of the Senate public services committee, authored the bill in the previous Congress.

The Philippine News Agency reported that the bill proposes mandatory coverage of tricycle drivers and operators to the Social Security System and Philhealth to enable them to access social security and health care benefits.

The proposed law also mandates local governments to simplify the registration process for tricycle registration through one-stop shop system.

It also provides for tricycle maintenance programs, vocational education on automotive mechanics to widen drivers’ skills and alternative livelihood and skills-training programs for the sector.

The bill, proposed in the run up to the May 13, 2019 elections, puts the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in charge for the allocation of funds for premiums and for other programs to benefit every member of the sector as provided in Section 14.

“Mao na gyud ni ang dugay na namo nga gipaabot, karon makaginhawa na gyud mi gamay sa among adlaw-adlaw nga paningkamot kay naa nay ayuda gikan sa gobyerno,” (This is what we have been waiting for. Now, we can have relief from our hard work with this government support) saidAlfredo Cejas Jr, a motorela driver for 10 years in this city.

Another provision prohibits impounding of tricycles on minor traffic violations.

Instead of paying cash for penalties, the erring driver may opt to do community services.

Nueva Ecija Rep. Rosanna “Ria” Vergara authored the counterpart measure, House Bill 9073, which has been approved on second reading, the PNA reported in March 2019.

Local government transport authorities also welcomed the proposed law with caution.

“Well, good thing for the motorela sector. We hope they will not abuse the opportunity, said Jerry Acebo, in-charge of impounding at the Traffic Management Center (TMC) of the city.

According to the TMC, there are a total of 600 registered motorcycle cabs plying the city, a figure verified also before the City Licensing Unit.

Macfumoda has been re-organized on March 15, 2019. The federation is awaiting official registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Rañoa said they are optimistic they get their SEC registration by August.

Noel Jaroy, TMC Asst. in Traffic Operation, noted that with their number, motorcycle cab drivers and operators are hard to organize.

But he said with the help of the Magna Carta, the local government can access some resources and partner with other government agencies to make them easier to manage.

Section 3 of the bill defines tricycle as a motor vehicle propelled other than by muscular power, composed of a motorcycle fitted with a single-wheel sidecar, or a motorcycle with a two-wheel rear cab, the former having the total of three wheels and the latter having a total of four wheels, otherwise known as the motorela.”

(Vergel R. Dolosa, one of the fellows of the BukidnonNews.Net Community Journalism Youth Fellowship 2019, is a Bachelor of Arts in English Language student of Bukidnon State University.  He is from Brgy. 3, Malaybalay City.

The fellowship received support from MindaNews and the Philippine Press Institute, the Bukidnon Studies Center and CAS-Social Sciences Department of Bukidnon State University, Print All Station and other individual community partners. BukidnonNews.Net handled editorial work on the fellowsʾ outputs.)