Bacolod mayor seeks hearing on e-trike regulation

Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez listens to concerns from tricycle drivers and operators during a TODA Solidarity Celebration at the BCGC Monday. (Glazyl Y. Masculino Photo)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD CITY — Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez plans to request the City Council convene a public hearing with stakeholders to address the rising number of e-trikes and e-bikes.

This concern emerged during the Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (TODA) Solidarity Celebration at the Bacolod City Government Center (BCGC) last Monday.

One tricycle driver explained to the mayor that while legitimate drivers meet the legal requirements to operate, many e-trikes and e-bikes remain unregulated yet still carry passengers.

Post-event, Benitez acknowledged in a media interview that the influx of these unregulated vehicles is impacting the livelihood of tricycle drivers.

“E-trikes and e-bikes cannot go unregulated, especially when they serve as public transportation,” he said.

The mayor emphasized the need to assess the number of e-trikes and traditional tricycles required for public transit. “Once we determine the number, we can create policies, guidelines, and regulations for their operation,” he added.

Addressing the issue of safety, Benitez pointed out the injustice to tricycle drivers and the public when unregulated e-vehicles operate. He also mentioned reports of barangays issuing permits to pedicab drivers, which e-trike and e-bike operators apparently exploit to legally operate.

“We will sit down and talk, and ask the City Council for the necessary legislation to formalize the guidelines and regulations,” Benitez stated, highlighting the urgency of establishing a structured approach to managing the city’s public transportation system.

According to a city ordinance, 7,000 tricycle drivers are permitted to operate, but only 2,000 have secured franchises. With approximately 15,000 e-bikes and e-trikes also present, Benitez warns of potential disorder: “Gamo na kita diri” (We will be at chaos).

The mayor aims to conduct a consultative or public hearing to find common ground for all concerned parties.