DILG to LGUs: make your TRPs

Apprehension of trycicles plying the National Highway in Negros Oriental continues until Local Government Units (LGU) can effect a Trycicle Route Plan (TRP) as mandated by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

A Tricycle Route Plan TRP is a road map directing all tricycles to ferry passengers using town side streets yet making a quick pass along the highways in cases of dead-ends. But TRPs are intended to minimize the plying of tricycles along national highways especially in the towns, as if it is their main routes.

Dir. Johnjoan Mende, DILG Negros Oriental asks LGUs to strictly follow DILG Memorandum Circular 2020-036 that bans tricycle (pedicab in Negros) from using the highway as much as possible.

This rationale for this ban is to prevent accidents since big vehicles are usually on high-speed along the highways. The presence of tricycles thereat will only cause unnecessarily traffic jams, delays, if not accidents for sudden stops.

Mende said the memorandum orders LGUs to make TRPs that details when and where trycicles can use the highway.

“LGUs has the responsibility to craft a TRP. That’s why it should be done as soon as possible,” Mende said in Bisaya.

Based on the DILG memorandum, trycicles can still use the National Highway if they don’t have alternative routes. The TRP will also be used as basis for making a proposed ordinance that will set fixed guidelines for highway use by trycicles. It will also be the Highway Patrol Group’s (HPG) guide for apprehensions.

Mende said he can’t blame HPG negros Oriental if they continue to apprehend violators since the law has been in effect for a long time.

“They have a national directive to effect the national law banning trycicles on National Highways,” he said.

The director said implementation of the said law cannot be stopped despite numerous complaints from various sectors, especially from the trycicle drivers.

Mende, however, assure that he would escalate appeals for possible deferment of apprehensions until LGUs can craft their TRPs. “We (the provincial level) will elevate their concern to higher-ups. Since this is a national law, it is implementable, but we need to clarify things.”

Police Captain Saturnino Sedigo, chief of HPG Negros Oriental said they’ll continue apprehensions despite absence of TRPs.

Saturnino said they are focusing on conducting operations at Dumaguete City and Sibulan town. “They (Dumaguete and Sibulan) have alternative routes but they are not being used,” he said.

In the past week, HPG Negros Oriental has conducted at least two operations in Sibulan, with almost a 100 violators fined for violating DILGs memorandum.

Edmar Santos, officer of the Dumaguete pedicab association appealed to HPG to stop apprehensions. “It affects our livelihood. Especially those going to the airport,” said Santos. – Ryan J. Sorote