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Tricycle drivers blast officials’ ‘careless’ claims

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An estimated five million tricycle drivers all over the country are in an uproar over "careless pronouncements" by Cabinet officials over the reported ban on the registration of two-stroke motorcycles, Land Transportation Office (LTO) officials said over the weekend.

But LTO chief Assistant Secretary Roberto Lastimoso clarified over the weekend that it was not true that the LTO is set to ban the registration of the two-stroke motorcycles.

Lastimoso made the clarification after the LTO was swamped with protests from thousands of indignant tricycle operators and drivers who were alarmed by reports of the supposed registration ban.

Transportation officials were earlier reported to have said that the government would no longer entertain the registration of two-stroke motorcycles and would ban the importation of such units in line with the strict implementation of the Clean Air Act.

But Lastimoso, in a bid to allay the fears of the restive tricycle sector, stressed that no such thing would happen in the near future in order to allow foreign manufacturers like Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha to dispose of existing inventory and give them time to shift their assembly lines to the manufacture of the more acceptable four-stroke motorcycles.

Lastimoso said that his office would continue to allow owners of two-stroke motorcycle to register their vehicles, but added that future purchase of this type of motorcycle is being discouraged due to the plan of the government to ban them altogether for being smoke belchers.

In a memorandum order dated May 5, 2003, Interior Secretary Jose Lina also directed all provincial governors, city mayors, municipal mayors, DILG regional directors and others concerned to grant new tricycle franchises to qualified applicants as well as to renew old ones because there is still no clear-cut policy regarding the matter.

Lina noted that certain local government units are no longer acting on the applications for franchise of tricycles powered by two-stroke motorcycles which has caused a lot of concern in the motorcycle-manufacturing industry and among millions of tricycle operators and drivers.

To address such confusion, Lina ordered all local officials under the jurisdiction of the DILG not to turn away any applicant while the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is working out the process of formulating hydrocarbon standards for all motorcycles in line with the Clean Air Act.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY ROBERTO LASTIMOSO

BUT LASTIMOSO

CLEAN AIR ACT

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES

INTERIOR SECRETARY JOSE LINA

KAWASAKI

LAND TRANSPORTATION OFFICE

LASTIMOSO

MOTORCYCLES

STROKE

SUZUKI AND YAMAHA

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