Phaseout of tricycles powered with two-stroke engines put drivers, operators on the edge

October 29, 2009 10:06 am 

ILOILO CITY, Oct 29 –- The government’s policy to phase out motorcycles powered with two-stroke engines by 2010 has placed the tricycle industry in Metro Iloilo which accounts for more than 10,000 registered motorcycles used in the livelihood of more than 15,000 drivers and owners of tricycles here on the edge.

The phase out of two-stroke motorcycle engines is in compliance with the provisions of Republic Act 8749 or the Clean Air Act of 1999, the “Act of providing for a comprehensive air pollution control policy and other purposes” in the country.

Reynaldo Beso, president of the Metro Iloilo City Federation of Tricycle Drivers and Owners Association, said the phase out will definitely affect the livelihood of the sector and will put them at risk and added burden to the government if they could not find an alternative solution.

Beso said they want to comply with provisions of the 10-year old law. But they are also asking the government to provide them with technical training assistance so that they can convert their two-stroke engines into four-stroke ones allowable under the clean air law.

Two-stroke motorcycles were identified as heavy smoke belching units that pollute the air.

Beso said the Road Users’ Tax mandated a 7.5 percent allocation for road transport pollution control programs like the current Special Vehicle Pollution Control Fund (SPVCF) with the Department of Transportation and Communications.

He said the government could tap the same road user’s fund to create a proposed TricyCLEAN fund for the tricycle sector which also contributes substantially to the fund.

The tricycle sector here said a new unit of four-stroke motorcycle costs more than P80,000 while the two-stroke is only some P30,000.

He said their federation could help subsidize the purchase of only a few four-stroke motorcycle units to be used in their franchised route. The owners and drivers could hardly afford to buy a new unit and if the government could help them subsidize for their new motorcycle needs, Beso lamented.

Most privately owned individual motorcycles are now four-stroke units while more than 50 percent of the tricycles used in public transport are still powered by two-stroke engines. (PNA)/V3/LCPendon/vlo/

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