LAW EACH WEEK
Those tricycle drivers’ refusal to convey
by Atty. Karissa Tolentino

In response to numerous complaints about erring tricycle drivers we want the commuters of the 5000 tricycles in Dumaguete to know that the penalty for REFUSING to convey passengers is P5000 per complainant for the first offense and double that for the second offense.

Passengers should know their rights. They have the right to ride the empty tricycle and the drivers have no right to refuse under any circumstance.

Passengers- victims of refusal to convey by drivers, may file their complaints with the TMO Traffic management office, or to the PNP women’s desk, or the city fiscal’s office at the hall of justice. Ask for help from volunteer lawyers from the Silliman Salonga Law Center or the IBP office at the hall of justice.

Riding tricycles is the preferred mode of transportation here in Dumaguete City but there are some stories circulating nowadays about tricycle drivers abusing the reliance of our residents and tourist. Regrettably, there are reports that some drivers devise schemes to increase their earnings sacrificing goodwill and quality of service along the way. This article is written to help you know your rights whenever you find yourself in this situation.

Overcharging.

Most drivers are breadwinners and only earn PhP 200 or PhP 300 daily, just enough to buy food. Sometimes, it’s not even enough. But they can’t charge their passengers beyond what is prescribed under the existing city ordinance. Fare overcharging is a violation of City Ordinance No. 117 Series of 2007 as amended by Ordinance No. 29 Series of 2015, which governs the minimum fare rates of Mo t o r c a b s - f o r -H i r e (MCH). The penalty for overcharging is only PhP 50 for the first offense, PhP 100 for the second offense and a filing of a case before the city prosecutor for the third offense, as provided under the Traffic Ordinance of the City.

Refusal to Convey Passengers.

Another most common complaint is the Refusal to convey a passenger. Refusal to convey includes a situation where there is an intention on the part of the driver to make a contract of carriage. When a driver stops and inquires about your destination, he already negotiated. If he refuses for whatever reason, the passenger could file a complaint.

Under Joint Administrative Order No. 2004-01, refusal to convey carries a penalty of PhP5,000 for the first offense, PhP10,000 and impounding of unit for the second offense, and PhP15,000 and cancellation of certificate of public conveyance for the third and subsequent offenses.

Death or Injury to the passengers.

Under the law, a tricycle is a common carrier. A common carrier is required to observe extraordinary diligence, and is presumed to be at fault or to have acted negligently in case of the death or injuries to passengers. (Article 1756 of the Civil Code) This high standard of care is demanded by the volatility of human life and by the consideration that every person must in every way be safeguarded against all injury. Being a mere presumption, however, the same is rebuttable by proof that the common carrier had exercised extraordinary diligence as required by law in the performance of its contractual obligation, or that the injury suffered by the passenger was solely due to a fortuitous event/act of God.

For damage or injuriesarising out of negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle, the driver may be held criminally and civilly liable. The registered owner/operator may also be held civilly liable with the negligent driver either 1) subsidiarily (which means he has to pay if the driver cannot pay), if the aggrieved party seeks relief based on a delict or crime under Articles 100 and 103 of the Revised Penal Code; or 2) solidarily (which means that complainant can collect from either of them), if the complainant seeks relief based on a quasi-delict under Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code. In case a separate civil action for breach of contract of carriage is filed, only the registered owner is primarily and directly responsible for the consequences of its operation, including the negligence of the driver.

Where to complain?

In case of a violation of the above rights, a passenger can register a complaint with the Office of the City Administrator, Traffic Management Office (TMO), Philippine National Police (PNP) for, or the Office of the City Prosecutor.


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