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Freeman Region

Transport group rallies for PNoy ouster, fare rate

Judy Flores Partlow - The Freeman

DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines – More than 100 members of the militant transport group, ND Motor Piston, yesterday afternoon staged a peaceful protest caravan around the city streets calling for the ouster of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III and to seek redress on local fare rate issues affecting them.

Eddie Lazaro, head of the ND Motor Piston-Dumaguete, said around 72 motorcabs-for-hire or 105 members—including regular tricycle drivers and reserved drivers—participated in the transport caravan.

The caravan however did not cause any inconvenience to passengers or slowed down traffic, Lazaro said, as he explained that the protest action was in solidarity to and support of the nationwide call by progressive groups for Aquino to step down.

ND Motor Piston-Dumaguete also called on city and provincial officials to act on the plight of the tricycle drivers, who constantly get into a tiff with passengers due to the current MCH fare rate set by the local government.

The present minimum fare of MCHs is pegged at P7.50 for the first five kilometers, with additional peso thereafter for every extra kilometer.

Lazaro said the 50 centavos change has become a cause of spat between driver and passenger, because coins are hard to come by and some passengers would insist on getting their change.

Reacting to public concern that tricycle drivers refuse to give passengers the 50-centavo change, Lazaro said he advised ND Motor Piston members to do otherwise.

Lazaro also said that, while the city has already implemented the new tariff schedule, the resolution in which this has been embodied has not yet been approved by the Provincial Board before it becomes a law.

The transport group further found out that the Dumaguete City Council’s resolution on tricycle fare rate, approved last month, was still being calendared in the agenda for the Council session, he said, while asking the legislative members to tackle the drivers’ plight on the matter, particularly on the fare rate adjustments.

Lazaro, quoting Councilor Antonio Remollo, said the City Council had already started deliberations on the new tricycle rate of P8 minimum, and this caused concern to the transport group because the PB has not even acted yet on the previous ordinance that set the rate at P7.50.

Elected officials should eschew politics and genuinely attend to the plight of the pedicab drivers who, Lazaro said, had been continuously struggling to meet their daily needs, especially now that the prices of fuel are starting to climb again.

To recall, the City Council had approved in January this year the adjustment of the MCH fare rate in Dumaguete after it noted a steep decline in the prices of petroleum products over the past months.

AQUINO

CITY COUNCIL

COUNCILOR ANTONIO REMOLLO

DUMAGUETE CITY COUNCIL

EDDIE LAZARO

LAZARO

MOTOR PISTON

MOTOR PISTON-DUMAGUETE

PRESIDENT BENIGNO SIMEON AQUINO

PROVINCIAL BOARD

RATE

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