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QC gov’t crushes sidecars seized from colorum tricycle drivers

The Quezon City government’s latest crackdown on colorum tricycles has confiscated about 80 sidecars. A payloader was used on Wednesday to apply the finishing touch. —Photo courtesy of QC Public Affairs Dept.

There was nothing Domingo Edubas could do but watch as a payloader reduced his tricycle’s sidecar into a crushed piece of metal on Wednesday.

Edubas’ source of income was one of the first casualties of the city government’s fresh crackdown on “colorum” or unauthorized tricycles, as officials enforced a 2014 ordinance regulating the mode of transport.

The 49-year-old Edubas admitted he had been plying the streets without a franchise for over 10 years. When finally caught, he was stunned to see his tricycle not only confiscated but its sidecar destroyed right in front of him at the impounding area of the city’s Tricycle Regulatory Unit (TRU).

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“I wish that before they took our main source of income, they should have at least given us other options for livelihood,” the father of three told the Inquirer.

The city government on Tuesday started going after colorum tricycles estimated to be numbering between 5,000 to 10,000.

Over 40 units have since been confiscated in six barangays. Including those seized in earlier operations, up to 80 sidecars have been destroyed.

Many colorum drivers were caught off guard as the government implemented a “one-strike policy,” contrary to a previous arrangement where the trikes were seized only after the fourth offense.

TRU chief Robert dela Cruz said most drivers “violently resisted” when teams from the Department of Public Order and Safety started taking their tricycles.

“They begged us not to take away their trikes, saying the income was for their children’s education,” Dela Cruz said. “But we tell them that we need to implement the law, as this is also for the safety of the passengers.”

Armando Garcia, president of the federation of tricycle operators and drivers’ associations (Toda) in the city’s fourth district, said they welcomed the crackdown.

“Unregistered trikes can also be used in robberies, and the government cannot monitor them,” he said. —WITH A REPORT FROM PAULINE FAYE TRIA

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