Council reso pushes E-trikes on Boracay Island

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ILOILO CITY, Philippines—Smoke-belching and noisy tricycles will hopefully soon be a thing of the past on Boracay Island.

The municipal council of Malay, which includes the three barangays of Boracay, has passed a resolution to shift the mode of transportation on the resort island from motorized to electric-powered tricycles (E-trikes).

The change in the mode of transportation, especially in Boracay, is aimed at addressing noise and air pollution, according to the resolution.

In the resolution sponsored by councilor Dante Pagination and passed unanimously on September 20, the council expressed support for a project of the Department of Energy and the Asian Development Bank to provide E-trikes all throughout the country, including Malay.

Under the project, the ADB and DOE will provide E-trikes for Boracay Island starting early next year which will be paid through amortization by the local government unit and the tricycle operators.

The E-trikes, which cost from P200,000 to P250,000 per unit, are expected to replace the 507 registered tricycle units on the 1,032-hectare Boracay Island, Pagination told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a telephone interview on Thursday.

“Shifting to electric-powered tricycles has been in our plan for several years and we aim to phase out the fuel-powered motorcycles within two years after we have introduced the E-trikes,” he said.

Tricycles have been identified as among the main cause of noise and air pollution and traffic congestion on the island.

The number of registered motor vehicles in Boracay has more than tripled from 553 in 2004 to 1,861 in 2007. Most of these (1,486 or 79.84 percent) are passenger motorcycles using two-stroke engines, according to the DENR Boracay environmental master plan.

Two-stroke engines have been found to produce substantial amounts of hydrocarbons, which contribute to the smog that causes air pollution. While these are considered as a primary contributor to pollution and health problems in the Philippines and many developing nations,  motorcycles are still preferred by operators and drivers due to their low cost, durability and capacity.

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