KALIBO, Aklan – Tricycle drivers and operators in this capital town expressed opposition over the local government’s plan to phase out all motorized tri-wheels and replaced them with electric tricycle or “e-trike.”
The planned phase out of tri-wheels in 16 barangays of Kalibo is impractical according to Johnny Damian, president of the Federation of Kalibo Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association Inc. (FOKTODAI).
Damian said the modernization bid will just destroy their livelihood.
“Sana tingnan natin ang mga apektadong mga sektor na naghahanapbuhay lalong lalo na sa modernization program ng transport,” he stressed.
Motorized tricycle remains the primary mode of transportation in Kalibo.
There are currently around 3,000 registered tricycles plying the routes of the first class municipality and the province’s center of commerce and trade. It has become the source of livelihood for 3,300 members of FOKTODAI.
At present, tricycle drivers are paying P150 for boundary and are spending more than P200 for gasoline every day.
Damian said the capital outlay for e-trike is more than twice that of a tricycle. E-trike unit built for six people costs around P400,000 to P600,000 compared to a tricycle unit of P120,000.
“Wala pa namang pormal na notice mula sa Sangguniang Bayan o local government ng Kalibo at hindi pa kami handa sa conversion. Paano na lang ang mga mahihirap na operators. Kailangan pag-usapan ang isyung ito sa FOKTODAI,” he added.
Damian clarified they will support the gradual shift from engine-propelled tricycle to e-trike if implemented five to 10 years from now. (With a report from Akean Forum/PN)