GENERAL SANTOS CITY – A city official is pushing for the full implementation of various reforms set under its comprehensive land transportation and traffic code to address noted gaps in the area’s public transport system.
City Councilor Dominador Lagare Jr., chairperson of the council’s committee on transportation, said Monday he is currently working with various offices to facilitate the implementation of some vital provisions of the code.
He said these include the clustering of tricycle operations in the city’s 26 barangays, the setting of a standard fare matrix per kilometer, and the regularization of the traffic enforcers.
Lagare, who returned as committee chair in a reshuffle last week, said such measures are among the key provisions of Ordinance No. 37, or the city’s Comprehensive Land Transportation and Traffic Code of 2018.
He authored the landmark ordinance during his first stint as head of the transportation committee from 2016 to 2018.
Lagare, in an interview, said the clustering of tricycles should have been implemented already based on the code’s implementing rules and regulations.
Under the code, tricycles will be divided into four color-coded clusters and their operations will be concentrated in specific routes.
For the imposition of the standard fare, Lagare said he is pushing for the reactivation of the Motorized Transport Franchising and Regulatory Board to facilitate discussions and consultations on the matter.
He said the board, which is mainly tasked to set fare rates and approve tricycle franchises, has been inactive in the past months.
“We need to set a standard fare matrix to prevent drivers from imposing excessive fare charges,” he added.
The minimum tricycle fare in the city remains at PHP10 per person but many commuters have been complaining of excessive charges, especially since the start of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic last year.
To stop extortion or “kotong” involving local traffic enforcers, Lagare said it is about time to start the promotion of some of them from job orders to regular or permanent employment status.