Aklan town officials seek extension of Boracay tricycle phaseout
AKLAN, Philippines – Malay town councilors will recommend an extension of the implementation of the phaseout of old tricycles in Boracay, following the appeal of operators and drivers affected by the temporary closure of the island.
Malay Councilor Floribar Bautista said the Malay municipal council will make the proposal after tricycle operators and drivers informed them that they have yet to acquire electronic tricycles (e-trikes) from accredited suppliers to replace their old units as the closure had slashed their earnings.
Boracay rehabilitation is underway after President Rodrigo Duterte placed the barangays of Yapak, Manoc-Manoc, and Balabag under a state of calamity, citing violations of environmental laws by businesses in the prime tourist destination.
Bautista said the Malay council will recommend to Task Force Boracay the extension of the phaseout beyond August 30 this year, the scheduled date of the total phaseout of old tricycle units.
“The phase-out proposal will take effect for those operators and drivers until the Boracay operations will normalize. Their daily income and livelihood affected their plans to get electronic trikes. Saan sila kukuha ng pang-down payment sa mga e-trikes na pampalit sa tricycle units ng mga drivers (Where will they get the money for the downpayment for e-trikes to replace their tricycle?)" he said.
Malay Councilor Jupiter Aelred Gallenero said tricycle drivers who have no e-trikes yet should be given an extension because of the "financial crisis" due to the Boracay closure but old tricycle units of existing e-trike operators will be off the streets by June 30.
Malay Mayor Ceciron Cawaling earlier issued Executive Order No. 007-2018 directing the Malay Transportation Office to implement the phaseout of tricycle units in the island.
E-trike operators and drivers are also required to secure franchises with the Municipal Transport and Franchising Regulatory Board.
The gradual phase-out of tricycle units to energy-efficient e-trikes was initiated as early as 2010 to reduce traffic congestion and to improve the livelihood of more than 500 tricycle drivers in Boracay.
The accredited suppliers for e-trikes are GerWeiss Motors Corporation, Prozza Hirose Manufacturing, Tojo Motors Corporation, Star-8-Modelo Global Solutions Corporation and BEMAC Transportation Philippines.
Earlier this month, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Western Visayas said that as part of the Boracay rehabilitation, it wants to immediately remove some 1,800 unregistered vehicles from Boracay Island, include motorcycles o habal-habal, delivery vans, and golf carts. – Rappler.com