By PNA and Philippine Times of Southern Nevada
From the looks of things, the three-wheeled motorized tricycles are here to stay.
At the present time, figures of the city’s legalization and franchising office show a total of 8,044 “For Hire” and 73 “For Private Use” tricycle units.
By the end of the year, about 12,000 tricycle units are expected to ply the city’s major routes as part of the city’s public transport system.
Under the new set-up, at least some 5,000 outsider tricycle operators would be removed from the present list of 17,000.
A rough estimate made by the legalization office show a daily income of at least P531.25 with the “color coding” in force, for some 9,600 driver-operators operating daily.
Undisputed as “The Tricycle Capital of the Philippines,” Cabanatuan, the “Biggest Little City in the Philippines, appears proud of the distinction, with no less than its city mayor laying claim to the title.
City Mayor Julius Cesar “Jay” Vergara hails the three-wheeled transports as the popular public transport in the city, in addition to jitneys plying the city’s streets.
Concerned with the growing competition being offered against local operators and drivers of the tricycle units here by “outsider operators” -meaning coming from outside the city – Mayor Vergara has sought approval from the Sangguniang Panlungsod to legalize and streamline the operation of the tricycle business.
Thus, through Ordinance No.006-2011, the franchising of tricycle units here has been systematized to coincide with the vision of Mayor Vergara making “Cabanatuan is for Cabanatueños.”
Under the local ordinance, only legitimate city residents are granted franchise to operate a tricycle unit. The local measure rationalizes that the income derived from the operation of the tricycles should be enjoyed solely by the city residents.
Vergara said the tricycle operators here have long engaged and invested a great part of their lifelong savings in buying a unit or two of tricycles.
He called the tricycle business as part of the city administration’s continuing livelihood project, and it being a longtime partner in the city’s progress and economic growth.
The institutionalization of the tricycle business is said to have given a lot of people permanent work, ranging from at least a minimum of two-shifts for alternating drivers. Barkers for terminals in strategic places.
Already benefited were tricycle sidecar makers, not to mention mechanics, vulcanizing workers and dealers of motorcycles.
At present, at least five motorcycle dealers here are cashing in on the orders for motorbikes for the city’s tricycle business.
Also, eateries catering to the tricycle drivers’ food requirements had mushroomed on strategic locations competing with big franchise food businesses as Chowking, Jollibee, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, donut houses and a variety of fastfood houses.