The Quezon City government has confiscated 130 "kuliglig" or improvised tractor trikes plying the Edsa Balintawak area as part of its crackdown on colorum vehicles.
Mayor Joy Belmonte on Saturday said the clearing operations, led by the Task Force for Transport and Traffic Management (TFTTM), along the city's thoroughfares started November last year but apprehended drivers were initially given warnings.
Hindi kami naghigpit nung nakaraan dahil magpapasko. Pero ngayon, hindi na excuse na wala silang pagkakakitaan (We were not strict last time because it was Christmas season. But now, it's not an excuse that they don't have source of income), Belmonte said. "Madami naman tayong inaalok na support programs para sa kanila (We are offering a lot of support programs for them).
In a dialogue with the apprehended drivers, Belmonte offered three modes of assistance for their livelihood amid the banning of kuliglig along its thoroughfares.
Belmonte said apprehended drivers can avail of the "Balik Probinsya" program, where they can reclaim their sidecars and use them to earn a livelihood in their respective hometowns.
Apprehended drivers can surrender their sidecars in exchange for PHP5,000 cash aid and alternative livelihood assistance or they can simply apply for the city's e trike program.
The city government also offered livelihood assistance to their wives and scholarships for the children of "kuliglig" drivers.
According to Ben Ibon, Head of the Tricycle Regulatory Division (TRD), "kuliglig" trikes are prohibited from operating along national highways and main thoroughfares, same as regular tricycles and pedicabs.
SOURCE: PHILIPPINES NEWS AGENCY