LTFRB wants Metro Manila Council to ban tricycles as school service
MANILA, Philippines – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will ask the Metro Manila Council to ban tricycles as school transport service.
In a message to Rappler on Saturday, June 9, LTFRB Board Member Aileen Lizada confirmed that they will write a letter to the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to propose the ban to the Metro Manila Council.
The council, which the MMDA presides, will convene on June 22. Metro Manila mayors and legislators are part of the council.
"We will present this to MMDA requesting, among others, that tricycle be banned as a school transport service because we already have a denomination in the LTFRB for the safety of the children," Lizada told Rappler in a mix of English and Filipino.
LTFRB will be strictly enforcing Memorandum Circular 2015-007, which excludes side-facing passenger vans as school transport service. It only allows vans that have front-facing seats with individual seatbelts for passengers, as well as minibuses, coasters, coaches, and buses.
Lizada said that side-facing passenger vans will have to be phased out, following the guidelines stipulated under the circular. The vans will have to be replaced with vehicles that have front-facing seats.
In 2015, when the circular was issued, existing side-facing passenger vans were allowed to operate until the end of their phased-out years, provided that they install seatbelts for the passengers.
The circular also directed that units that will be phased out in 2016 onwards must be replaced with units that are not more than 3 years old from the date of manufacture.
Lizada also said on Saturday that the LTFRB may need to review the fare structure of school transport services.
Currently, operators set how much the fares would be, depending on the distance of the student's home to the school.
"It appears that the previous Board tried to establish [fare setting] but they had a difficult time coming up with a formula because of the many factors. Nonetheless, it is time for the Board to review the fare structure," she said.
Lizada said they will schedule a consultation with school transport operators on the matter. (READ: Back to school for 20.9M public school students)
For now, Lizada said they may consider "zonal rates" similar to airport coupon taxis, which charge passengers depending on the area of destination.
They may also consider whether a student is enrolled in a private or public school in setting the fare scheme.
The LTFRB may also have to take into account that the school calendar runs for about 10 months, since drivers and operators of school transport services do not have income for 2 months.
"Let's have some uniformity [in fares] by starting with a dialogue," Lizada added. – Rappler.com