Estrada touts E-trike project for Manilans
The City of Manila is the first local government unit in the country to implement a livelihood program for poor tricycle and pedicab drivers through a pioneering electric tricycle or E-trike project, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said on Monday.
The E-trike project, according to Estrada, is his “brainchild” and is meant to uplift the lives of poverty-stricken tricycle, pedicab and “kuliglig” drivers and their families.
For only P150 daily installment, project beneficiaries stand to earn P1,200 to P1,500 a day, Estrada pointed out, and that they get to own the E-trikes provided to them by the City Hall in a few years’ time.
“They don’t need to pay for gasoline since it uses a battery. And, charging is free, paid by the government,” he added, referring to the battery charging stations put up by the city government.
The city government bought 280 units of E-trikes, at P400,000 each, for distribution this year. The Manila Electric Co. has constructed several charging stations for the trikes, the first in Binondo.
The Japanese-manufactured E-trikes run on gel-type batteries than can be fully charged within four to five hours. It can carry up to six passengers and has a maximum speed of 45 kilometers per hour.
After Binondo, Estrada is set to introduce E-trikes to Malate, part of the city’s tourist belt, by distributing 80 more units of the environment-friendly vehicles to another batch of beneficiaries by October.
The E-trikes will be financed through a “boundary-hulog” or installment scheme, wherein the driver-owners will only pay the city government P150 a day for four years at zero interest.
Instead of paying daily boundary to their operators, Estrada said the driver-beneficiaries will get to save the money and pay it as their installment to their E-trikes.
“In three years, they would own the E-trikes,” he said. “They cannot just be drivers forever, now have their own new tricycles. With no daily boundary to pay to the operator, they’ll earn more for their families.”
The Estrada administration launched the project last April to combat air pollution and improve the livelihood of some 1,500 legally franchised tricycle drivers in the city and 25,000 “colorum” drivers of tricycles and kuliglig or motorized bicycles.
In April, Estrada gave away 50 brand-new E-trikes to the first batch of driver-beneficiaries in Binondo. All the beneficiaries are indigent, or those who earn less than P12,000 a month with three or more dependents, and are legitimate residents of Manila.