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‘Tricycle ordinance violates national law’

First Posted 09:19:00 08/09/2008

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THE TRAFFIC Management Board (TMB) of Mandaue City will not implement a traffic ordinance passed by the City Council allowing tricycles to ply S.B. Cabahug Street, saying the ordinance is in violation of national laws.

Manny Rabacal, a member of the TMB, said S.B. Cabahug Street is a primary road. Under the Traffic Code of the Philippines, tricycles are limited only to tertiary or barangay roads.

?An ordinance cannot supersede a national law,? Rabacal said.

The TMB, headed by Mayor Jonas Cortes, ruled that traffic enforcers will continue to apprehend tricycle drivers who ply S.B. Cabahug Street.

Vice Mayor Carlo Fortuna, however, insisted that traffic enforcers who follow the national law will be charged for illegal apprehension or illegal citation if they stop tricycles from plying S.B. Cabahug.

He said that if the city follows the Traffic Code of the Philippines, then no tricycles would be able to ply any road of Mandaue City, since all roads in the city are either primary or secondary.

S.B. Cabahug is where most tricycle passengers wait for rides, said Fortuna, presiding officer of the City Council.

?Where should we let tricycles pass, in places where there are no passengers?? Fortuna asked. ?Who should prevail, private motorists who get annoyed by tricycles or people who depend on tricycles??

Fortuna said it was ?unfortunate? that the mayor would not respect a city ordinance.

The mayor earlier vetoed the ordinance, but the mayor?s veto was overturned by the opposition-dominated City Council.

Tricycle drivers earlier said that the traffic board?s ban tricycles from S.B. Cabahug was a way for City Hall to accommodate operators of Spider multicabs, built by the Norkis Group of Companies.

The Quisumbing family, which owns Norkis, supported Cortes during the May 2007 elections.

The TMB earlier said the tricycle ban was to decongest S.B. Cabahug Street and enforce the national traffic law.

Rabacal said that while Spider operators have expressed intention to ply S.B. Cabahug, operators of any public utility jeepney may ply S.B. Cabahug with the proper travel line permit.

City Prosecutor Bienvenido Mabanto, also a member of the TMB, said tricycles are tolerated on other primary roads in consideration of the drivers? livelihoods.

However, the board will not compromise on S.B. Cabahug, which is already heavily congested, just because the city passed an ordinance, especially since the ordinance is contrary to national laws.

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