Conditions set on pedicab operation PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 04 June 2012 15:52

Pending the response from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) concerning operation of pedicabs along national highways, Mayor Celso Lobregat has put in place some conditions or guidelines to take effect today, June 4, the first day of classes.

The conditions or guidelines set are temporary measures intended to help in bringing and fetching pupils, teachers and parents to and from the schools with the opening of classes in public schools.

Mayor Lobregat said pedicab operators and drivers should strictly comply with various conditions or face sanctions.

The conditions include: pedicabs must be duly registered; pedicab driver must be at least 18 years of age; only 2 passengers are allowed for every pedicab excluding the driver; pedicabs are only allowed to use national highways or roads from 6-8am, 11am-1pm, and 4-6pm exclusively to bring pupils, teachers and parents to and from schools; there shall be absolutely no parking within, near, or in front of school premises, or along national highways or roads and that no pedicab shall be allowed to use the national highways or roads especially for other purposes, except to bring pupils, teahcers and parents to and from school.

The guidelines also emphasize that no pedicab shall be allowed to ferry passengers to and from the commercial area or district of the barangay that passes along national highways, nor shall any pedicab be allowed to parking along national highways.

Lobregat said the temporary conditions or guidelines will be in place effective today pending the response from the DILG, the agency where he sought clarification and guidelines concerning national laws and circulars on pedicab operation.

He called on authorities –police authorities, traffic aides and barangay officials and volunteers in concerned barangays to strictly monitor the operation of pedicabs and ensure that pedicab operators and drivers are accurately following the guidelines or conditions set.

The conditions and guidelines were agreed upon during a meeting between the mayor, Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde, some members of the City Council, the City Administrator and City legal officers and in consultation with the City Police OIC Director, May 28 following representations made by some barangay officials.

A month ago, the city government in partnership with the police and other concerned agencies has cleared national highways of obstructions and pedicabs on the basis of national laws and a City Council ordinance.

The laws include Commonwealth Act 548 entitled “An Act to Regulate and Control the Use of and Traffic on National Roads a well as constructions along the same prescribing penalties for violation thereof” which sets the policy of promoting safe transit and avoid obstructions on national roads; Department of Public Works and Highways Circular No. 21 dated June 13, 1969 declaring that except when crossing a national road or street, it is unlawful for pedicabs to use the national highways or roads and Ordinance 92-012 enacted on Dec. 28, 1992 entitled An Ordinance Regulating the Operation of Pedicabs in the city of Zamboanga and providing penalties for violation thereof.

The DILG also issued Memorandum Circular No. 2007-01 dated January 2, 2007 and reiterated in DILG MC 2011-68 on May 9, 2011 which seeks and reminds local authorities to adhere to the guidelines and standards banning pedicab operations along national highways. The same circular however, provides that tricycles may be allowed to operate along national highways, if there is no other alternative road network available such as routes beyond the town proper.

The city’s clean up drive was also based on request from the District Engineer who sought the city’s help in removing obstructions including pedicabs which cause traffic congestion in some barangays. The campaign was successfully waged particularly in the barangays of Recodo, Sinunuc and other barangays.

The request for reconsideration of the city’s campaign against pedicabs plying the national highways was first brought to the City Council by barangay officials, who personally appeared during the Council session morning of May 28.

To address the matter, a meeting was held in the afternoon in City Hall and attended by concerned officials. The mayor decided to make representations with the DILG on the operation of pedicabs in national highways roads vis-à-vis the bringing and fetching of pupils, teachers and parents to and from schools. The temporary guidelines were also set on the operation of pedicabs pending the response from the DILG. — Sheila Covarrubias