Thursday, 02 June 2011 12:56
Isabela City, Basilan – Some four hundred (400) tricycle drivers and/or operators in Isabela City flocked the city hall Friday for the release of the Pantawid Pasada gasoline assistance.
Isabela City Mayor Cherrylyn Santos-Akbar led in the releasing of Public Transport Assistance Program (PTAP) or Pantawid Pasada Cash Transfer to tricycle drivers/operators in the City as fuel subsidy in the amount of P150.00 each in response to the fluctuating fuel prices in the world market.
City Information Officer (CIO) Faisal Saddalani said that Mayor Akbar found the funding assistance from the National Government helpful but not sufficient to cope up with the rising cost of fuel and the basic goods. However, the Mayor announced that she will also be giving additional P150.00 as her counterpart for the subsidy.
The Mayor also appealed to the tricycle transport to abide with traffic ordinance of the City to maintain order and decongest traffic in the main thorough-fares.
"I will advise the City Council to study if the fare increase in tricycle is already appropriate", the Mayor stressed. Tricycle drivers in the city charge P10.00 per passenger to destination within the poblacion.
Under the implementing rules and regulation of Executive Order 32, issued by the Office of the President, LGU shall assist in the implementation of the program and shall provide the list of the franchisee in coordination with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The LGU may also provide their funding counterpart to increase the privilege and shall submit report to DILG in order to maintain the transparency and accountability of the program.
City Administrator Ramon T. Nuñal said during a briefing with Basilan Communicators Network that some P225,000.00 were downloaded to the city for some 1,500 tricycle operators (the maximum number allowed to operate in the city as stipulated in the local ordinance).
The said program of government is helpful to the LGU in tracking down illegal and or “colorum” tricycle operators/drivers in the city. The city is receiving complaints that a number of tricycles operating in the city are not registered or has expired.
Since PTAP’s local launching, the city has been encouraging tricycle operators/drivers to register to the city and be listed as beneficiary in order to be able to claim the gasoline assistance.
CIO Saddalani said that operators/drivers not listed as beneficiary are considered “colorum” and without authority to engage in transporting passengers. In view of this, the city government had directed the traffic division of the Isabela City Police Station to protect those law-abiding drivers/operators as it intensifies the campaign to remove “colorum” operators and decongest thorough-fares of the city.
By Rene V. Carbayas/FS-PIA9-BaSulTa
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