If memory still serves me right, it was on the early part of 2012 when electric vehicles have been introduced to Boracay with the signing of agreement between the Boracay Land Transport & Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BLTMPC) and ELAIA Green Vehicles Corporation, a local manufacturer of E-Trike.
In fact, it was this same company that brought prototype e-trike units to bring an environment-friendly transportation service on the island which was then reeling from old, dilapidated and polluting tricycles.
Since electric vehicles are cleaner and more efficient, they were considered perfect for the road conditions in the island and hence good both for the environment and the economy.
The entry of e-trikes actually targets one major problem that Boracay was suffering from during that time and that is the eventual phase out of old and dilapidated tricycles blamed for lung-busting smog to preserve the island’s environment and its people citing issues of smoke emissions and noise pollution.
Well, seven years had passed but these same gas-guzzling, air polluting motorized tricycles are still present in the island. What happened to that target?
Here comes a new directive from the town executive, Mayor Frolibar Bautista, who had ordered the total phase-out of these relics by January next year. Well, this, I think, remains to be seen because I personally knew of some directives in the past which have been issued only on lip service.
Well, in all fairness, I was in a huddle with him last Wednesday when an owner of a business establishment presented him a request to bring in a vehicle on the island’s for his operation when the mayor gracefully turned it down saying, “Let me review this first. We are trying to lessen the number of vehicles on the island and if I approve this, I’m sure more and more business owners will apply for one.”
Perhaps, the mayor is really persistent to address the traffic-ridden roads and routes on the island, but again, this still remains to be seen.
Relatedly though, the mayor, I think, should also train his gun on some major issues that utterly bring discomfort to the local passengers.
You see, despite the upgrade of transportation, drivers and operators of public utility vehicles have not changed their thinking on how to make money.
Everybody knows the temerity of most (if not all) drivers in declining rides in favor of foreign tourists. It appears that it is so easy for them to say no to rides they don’t want to take. Drivers in Boracay are actually blatant in refusing to ply passengers to their destinations leaving passengers in the lurch. This, of course, is a violation under the Land Transportation Office Code but what the hell are the officials doing about it?
I believe our officials should respond to the standards that are needed in a place of international standards like Boracay. And I believe that is what we are lacking here right now.
As long as issues like this one remains here, pestering us, we can never say we are living in a world-class island. What we actually have right now is a world-class discomfort.
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