I never imagined that I’d be scared of commuting even for a second. In all the time that I started using public transportation, not once have I been frightened of the possibility that something unfortunate would happen to me. Not even the news reports on people getting mugged and carjacking has affected me.
It was only recently, when I heard about the slain UST graduate, Cyrish Magalang, that the prospect of getting harmed while traveling actually scared me. I’ll have you know that the area where Cyrish’s body was found and where her family resides is not far from where I live. When I heard about the news, at first, I couldn’t believe it. It took a day and one long sleepless night for it to sink in – that an innocent woman would get killed when she was just on her way home.
After that sleepless night, I confessed to mom that I was scared – that I feared taking that route that required me to take a tricycle home. I think mom told dad because after that, dad accompanied me home for the entire week. We took the tricycle together. And after with what happened to Cyrish Magalang, I noticed a few changes around the tricycle station.
They put a barangay post just before the station. (A barangay post is like a booth where barangay tanods and some other people stand by.) And then they list the tricycle number of every tricycle leaving the station. I also noted that the streets became brighter. Must be the fact that they finally installed street lights. (Or finally turned them on. Go figure).
Despite these measures, I still don’t feel safe. It’s always like this. People here always take measures when something horrible has already happened. It’s always reaction never precaution. The thought that every rule or protocol should be implemented because someone has died without it is disturbing – alarming even. Putting up a post and listing tricycle numbers is not enough to impose safety to the community.
If I were to be followed, tricycle drivers should undergo drug testing every month. There’s no harm in a simple drug test – you’d just have to pee a bit and send it to the lab. And then if they fail the test, their license to operate should be stripped off. Oh, and I’ve thought of what you may say – that drug testing costs alot. We pay our arrears! Take part of it there, if you must. Use the money that the trike operators pay you when they apply for a license to operate!
Then comes my second concern. There are alot of COLORUM tricycles operating in the village. In fact, there are so many tricycles in the village colorum or not. I don’t think authorities are controlling the tricycle population in the village. I don’t even think they’re implementing tricycle specification requirements! I’ll have you know that by the time I’m 25 I might start going deaf of the noise these tricycles produce everyday (and night!). From what I heard, some of them take off the silencers that is why it’s so noisy! If you’re one of the authorities, please please start regulating and disciplining them.
It is just exhausting to live in a place where you have to sleep with the other eye open and your entire body tense. This is supposed to be my home for crying out loud and I don’t feel like it is with the way this community is behaving. Why is it so hard for other people to be good citizens?
Ever since I was a kid, I was always taught that rules were made to be followed for a reason and I understand why. And as much as I want to play the part of a teenage rebel, I never do because I know why I have to follow the rules. I just don’t understand why others don’t.
Have you any concerns with the tricycles in your villages? Share your stories in the comment box below.