Tricycle drivers and tourism in Legazpi City

One of the major factors that define the success or failure of a tourism program in an area is the transportation system. Kung pagabat an transportasyon, maski gurano kagayon kan lugar, magiging limitado sana an mga turista na mabisita diyan. Sarong ehemplo an Legazpi City na dawa ano’ng promote ni Mayor Noel Rosal asin Cong. Joey Salceda, dai maabot-abot an potensiyal na bilang kan mga turista dahil sa mahal maningil an mga tricycle drivers.

It’s been years that tricycle drivers are being complained of for overcharging. Imagine a trip for two from Gaisano Mall to the bus terminal covering around 500 meters with a tricycle fare of P60 to P100. This is despite the fare matrix ordinance and the law enforcement efforts of the city government.

So what is the cause of this issue? Behavior.

First, tricycle drivers are not consciously included by the city government in the crafting and implementation of tourism program. This is true not only in Legazpi but in other areas as well where the tourism industry stakeholders mapped include only the tour operators, hotels and restaurants, and pasalubong center operators. The key player – the drivers—that transport tourists from one destination to another are generally excluded.

Second, the passengers who are victims of overcharging, do not usually complain. It’s either na takot na balikan sinda kan tricycle driver, dai asistihan kan local government sa saindang mga reklamo, o warang mailing na numero na puwedeng apudan asin pag-sumbungan. Kung igwa man na contact number ang city government, habo man kaining mga pasahero ki sobrang rekisitos na nauubos na ang saindang oras dahil sa burukrasya sa pagsumbong lang o pagtao kan reklamo.

Third, the behavior of the drivers themselves both collectively and individually. Dahil nakatana na ki delihensiya sa overcharging kaya inutro hanggang maging ugali na.

But why do tricycle drivers behave that way? May ley, nata dai sundon?

Dakul an rason. One is the oversupply of tricycles resulting from the city government’s failure to study the proper tricycle-to-commuters’ ratio. Habo niyatong sabihon na nakikinabang ang nagkapirang councilor sa siyudad sa pagtao kan prangkisa dahil wara kitang pruweba. Dificil man sabihon na dai talaga ninda pinag-adalan intentionally ang epekto kan sobrang prankisa na itinao ninda. We cannot also assume that some councilors mistook the law of supply and demand to mean that the oversupply of tricycles will lower the fares as this is a bit stupid. In the first place, why legislate a fare regulation matrix, right? So let it just be a simple fact: there is an oversupply of tricycles.

The oversupply of tricycles, however, means less tourists. Worse, those who have vehicles will just drive their vehicles and congest our streets while those who have not will buy. It may be preposterous for private vehicle drivers to bring their cars, spend for gas, and face traffic and parking issues than ride a P60 tricycle, right? But having the option to choose between being extorted with P60 than willingly pay for P200, many will choose the latter. May prestihiyo pang kasabay. Sabi ngani sa komersiyal, iba man giraray an hatid-aircon sa hatid-pawis.

When the private vehicles add up in the streets, mas madiit ngonyan ang delihensiya kan mga tricycle drivers. Dahil pobre an kadaklan na tricycle drivers, mapipiritan sinda na mangontrata o mag-overcharge giraray. So more vehicles again, and more tricycle drivers overcharging and ad infinitum.

Next, there is also an issue on law-enforcement. Nagdagdag su tricycle mo, dai man nagdagdag su law enforcers. To use the phrase, Saen ka kaan puruton? Remember that law enforcers need to watch out not only for tricycles but also for private vehicles which went out of the garages because of the high price.

So, what should be done?

First, the city government should review its tourism and transporation programs and policies. Haen sa programa an partisipasyon kan public transportation players including the tricycle drivers? Sa Dapitan City sa Zamboanga, bako lang taga-hatod pasahero an mga tricycle drivers kundi taga-tao man ki impormasyon sa mga pasahero lalo na sa mga turista manungod sa mga importanteng lugar sa siyudad. And they are doing that for free kaya an turista n asana ang masusupog na dai magtaong tip. And warang overcharging o contracting. Kung ano ang nasa fare matrix, iyo man an babayadan.

Ikaduwa, tama kaya talaga an bilang kan mga tricycles asin an riding public? Note that Legazpi also has jeepneys and taxis, and add the private vehicles roaming the city. Narumduman ko kan Consultant pa ako sa Daraga, literal na pinabilang mi sa Special Projects Office an mga iba-ibang klase kan behikulo na nag-aaragi sa nagkapirang tinampo na maski pauno, nakagibo ki istratehiya para maayos an trapiko. That was more than a decade ago and unfortunately, dai na-sustain si pinuunan mi. Hopefully sa panahon ni Mayor Awel Baldo, maging evidence-based man ang pag-address sa problema kan trapiko sa lugar.

Third, fix the feedback and complaint system. Baka kaipuhan mag-dedicate ki ala-call center na upisina na maresibe ki mga reklamo sa text, sa e-mail, o sa telepono asin i-refer iyan sa tamang ahensiya.

Katakod kaini, baka puwedeng rebisaron an franchise regulations na maging pro-riding public bakong pro-pocket o pro-frachisee. Kada-reklamo either text, call or email, tatawan nin notisya an tagsadiri kan tricycle. Sa kada tulong reklamo, suspend the operations. After 3 suspensions, revocation na kan franchise. This proposal is not against the law. Franchise is a franchise and is not a right. It is the city government that grants the franchise and has the right to set the terms.

Next, introduce alternative transport systems – trams, e-jeepneys, e-trikes, point-to-point vehicle systems, and the like. Diyan na malaog ang law of supply and demand na sinasabi dahil igwa ki alternative. I remember years back sa Gubat, Sorsogon an ang pamasahe sa jeep haling sentro kan Sorsogon P2.50 lang dahil sa kumpetisyon kan mga bus asin jeep. So, pababaan sindang pamasahe when the minimum fare was P5 ata.

Lastly, para maresolbaran an kakulangan sa traffic enforcers, deputize the barangay tanods. In that way, magiging produktibo pa an mga ini kaysa maging barangay tagay dahil wara masyadong ginigibo. Depende sa penalty collection scheme, magkakaigwa pa ki posibilidad na madagdagan ang honorarium kaining mga tanod ta. Instead of allocating resources for the hiring of new traffic enforcers, gamiton na lang ang kwarta para mag-krear k idagdag na pagkakaitaan para mas bumaba pa an 17.3 poverty incidence kan siyudad as computed by the Philippine Statistics Office kan 2012.

 

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One thought on “Tricycle drivers and tourism in Legazpi City”

  1. The same problem exists here in South Cotabato. Many tricycle drivers are hookers and despite some measures done, the behaviour refuses to die. By the way, my parents came from Obo, San Miguel, Catanduanes and migrated to Mindanao in the 1950s. We just had our first homecoming in Catanduanes last May 19-21, 2018. What a beautiful place, I must say.

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