Phnom Penh municipality issued an order Saturday stating that Prime Minister Hun Sen had reversed the ban on commercial ads on tuk-tuks, though the popular taxis must now be officially registered.
Municipal officials revealed last week that they had banned all commercial advertising from tuk-tuks, claiming the ban was necessary in order to preserve “public order” and the beauty of the capital.
As of Feb 10, tuk-tuk drivers are again able to place ads on their vehicles. But first, “[Tuk-tuk] taxi drivers must have a license plate and a driver’s license,” according to the new order. Unlicensed tuk-tuk drivers must report to the municipal works and transportation office starting Feb 12 to get registered.
Peng Sokun, deputy chief of the municipal works and transportation office, declined Sunday to reveal how much tuk-tuk license plates would cost, but said motorcycle plates cost $11 with an additional $1.25 application fee.
Upon applying, it can take up to one month to receive a license plate, he said. “If you want the plate early, you have to spend more,” he said, adding that it costs $25 to $30 to get a plate in one day.
Currently 100 tuk-tuks are officially registered, he added.
SRP lawmaker Yim Sovann welcomed the new order but questioned why the municipality took so long to issue license plates.
“Owners of vehicles are bored with waiting so long,” Yim Sovann said. “We have to spend more money if we want our plates in one day.”
A 35-year-old tuk-tuk driver named Ka said Sunday he was glad to hear of the reversal on the advertising ban. “I am happy to hear there will be ads again. I will make a better living.’’ He said he used to earn $5 each month from ads.
But Ka said he was concerned that getting tuk-tuk license plates would take a long time and cost a lot of money.