Abusive trike drivers? File formal complaint — TAB PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 05 September 2015 13:47

By DOMINIC I. SANCHEZ

What’s the best way to deal with abusive, discourteous and arrogant tricycle drivers in the city? File a complaint. Even on Facebook.

Linda Mandi, Tricycle Adjudication Board’s (TAB) representative of the riding public, said that in order to “teach these drivers a lesson,” passengers must do their part in properly reporting such incidents.

“We can respond to complaints even on social media,” Mandi said, citing a recent complaint by a local netizen. The complainant posted a photo of the tricycle’s plate number, narrating an incident with an arrogant driver and tagged it to Mandi’s Facebook profile.

Mandi’s response to the photo took less than a day. Within that day, TAB enforcers located the operator and summoned the driver for a confrontation with the complainant. The passenger was advised to visit the TAB office to officially file a formal complaint.

After locating the operator and driver, we asked the complainant to set a convenient time for him to appear in our office to face the driver,” Mandi said.

The TAB, as mediator would help the parties settle the issue. Hhowever, there are times when the complainant would refuse to forgive the driver and push through with the penalties, according to Mandi. The tricycle would be impounded until the driver and operator will be able to pay the corresponding fines depending on violations such as arrogance, discourtesy, refusal to convey passenger to destination, overcharging, among others, as prescribed under City Ordinance 185.

Mandi said that almost on a daily basis, they have been accommodating complaints, which are necessary to remind the drivers of their responsibilities as they should be providing “services, and not disservice.”

Recently, abusive trike drivers in Zamboanga City have been dubbed as “highway vultures” due to the numerous complaints by netizens. According to social media posts, passengers, especially those that are not locals are being exploited by these drivers who charge more than 200% of the prescribed fare. Even locals are not spared, including students, professionals and other residents.

A trike passenger, who requested anonymity, said she was once victim of an overcharging driver, who even threatened her life after disagreement over the fare. “Sabe yo onde bo ta keda,” (I know where you live) the passenger quoted the driver as saying. For some time, she was hesitant to ride tricycles, and would have no choice but to take two to three rides in jeepneys to commute because of trauma.

Other passengers would simply pay the fare demanded by the drivers, in spite of knowing that it is beyond the prescribed fare. They fear that the trikes might get back at them at some point. “Baka lansya pa canamon de screwdriver (I don’t want to be stabbed with a screwdriver),” said a university professor.

Mandi on the other hand said that it does not matter if the overcharging amounted to only Php10.00, or more. “It is against the law,” she said, sharing that lawyers, doctors and professionals are among those who complain often.

Daniel Delgado, a commuter said that in his experience, it is necessary to complain about these abusive drivers. “We are also partly responsible, if we do not complain, they will abuse and abuse, until the time when they dictate the fare and the fare matrix becomes simply just an ignored decoration painted on these tricycles. Even when I am busy, I have to set a time to complain, it is my responsibility.”

Mandi emphasized the importance of filing formal complaints with the TAB, located at the City Legal Office, 2nd floor of the City Hall. She assures passengers that all complaints will be addressed swiftly by TAB personnel. (ALT/DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City)