The public took to the air over DYRD “Inyong Alagad” to vent their frustration and anger over the tricycle queuing system that has caused chaos instead of order.
Cezar Jamero, a resident of Jagna, Bohol took time to pour out his dismay when he went straight to station DYRD after security guards of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) reminded the tricycle he was taking not to accept passengers and ordered him to alight.
A furious Jamero narrated he did not heed the PPA warning telling the guards to back off since he had the right to choose his ride and besides the tricycle had no passengers.
Jamero’s sad tale ignited a storm of indignation from passengers who claimed they were similarly situated as the PPA strictly enforce the prohibition on tricycles taking in additional passengers on their way out of the port terminal.
Only tricycles who are members of the association accredited by the city and following a queuing system are allowed to take in passengers.
The ban on the taking in of passengers by tricycles on their way out despite being vacant is considered discriminatory on those who would rather choose to ride on these tricyles rather than walk to the waiting area and endure a longer waiting time.
Arriving passengers alleged that PPA security guards tolerate drivers who deliberately refuse passengers a ride claiming they are already booked. Drivers oftentimes depart only when their vehicles are full but refuse to leave if only one passenger is on board.
Despite the posting of an approved fixed fare matrix from the port to points in the city, tricycle drivers still engage in haggling with passengers for a more higher rate that oftentimes lead to arguments or passengers sheepishly saying yes to speed up their departure.
The PPA and the City of Tagbilaran has put in place a tricycle queuing system in response to numerous complaints from port passengers ranging from excessive fares, refusal to convey, discourteous tricycle drivers and other customer related issues.
An ordinance was passed by the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) authorizing tricycles to ply the route from the port to any point in the city under certain conditions.
Among others, tricycles wishing to ferry passengers should fall in line in a designated place, drivers should not leave their vehicles, fares should be based on a special tariff fixed by the city and only those tricycles who are members of an accredited tricycle association can take in passengers.
But instead of easing the agony of waiting for a tricycle ride, the system is now the center of negative comments leading to calls to scrap the system.
With the reputation of the city on the line considering that Tagbilaran is the gateway to Bohol, commuters are calling on the PPA and city authorities to seriously look into the growing embarrassing predicament arriving passengers are enduring upon arrival at the “city of friendship”. (Chito M. Visarra)