LAOAG CITY – The city council of Batac in Ilocos Norte province has approved a PHP2.50 tricycle fare hike, Vice Mayor Windell Chua said Tuesday.
The approved measure is based on the request of the Batac Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (BATODA) asking that the regular fare be increased from PHP15 to PHP17.50 for the first 1.5 km. with an additional PHP2 for the succeeding kilometers.
“The fare adjustment will take effect immediately after approval of the ordinance,” he said, adding that the move is a win-win solution for parents, students, and trike drivers and operators following a long discussion about the issue.
Student fare is pegged at PHP13 for the first 1.5 km. and PHP2 for the succeeding kilometers. As prescribed by law, both senior citizens and persons with disabilities will continue to enjoy a 20-percent discount from the regular fare provided they present their authorized identification cards.
Tricycle drivers and operators, however, have been warned to refrain from overcharging their passengers to avoid being penalized.
Under Ordinance 4SP 2018-18, violators will be charged PHP200 to PHP600 and slapped with a possible three-month suspension of the motorized tricycle operator’s permit for the third and succeeding offenses.
Prior to increasing the regular tricycle fare, the Sangguniang Panlungsod’s committee on laws conducted a public consultation where tricycle drivers and operators, students, and all other concerned parties attended.
The city government of Batac last increased fare rates in 2019 when basic fare rates went up from PHP12 to PHP14.
Early on, some students in Batac complained about the alleged unfair practice of some tricycle drivers asking for additional fees or even paying double the regular fare for a single passenger.
“The government has established a discount system for the benefit of students, elders, and PWDs, however, many do not really follow them,” said Paul Angelo Juan, a student of the Mariano Marcos State University who regularly commutes from his hometown in Bacarra to Batac City. (PNA)