A LAWMAKER called for the need to pass a measure regulating motorcycles-for-hire, with several related bills pending in Congress.
“The bills filed for the purpose of regulating this cheap and convenient mode of transportation will also ensure that all riders are properly screened and trained, and will follow the speed limit mandated under the measure to ensure the safety of their passengers,” Davao City Rep. Paolo Z. Duterte said in a statement on Thursday.
Mr. Duterte said the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) ongoing pilot study on the operation of motorcycles-for-hire — which began in 2019 — has “dragged on.”
“As a result, the number of ‘habal-habal’ rides, or those motorcycles-for-hire operating outside the purview of the pilot study conducted by the LTFRB, has continued to increase,” he said.
Habal-habal is the colloquial term for unregulated motorcycles that have long been providing service for a fee, especially in rural and remote parts of the country where there are not enough forms of public transport.
Motorcycles-for-hire services are operating under the four-year pilot study as Republic Act (RA) No. 4136, or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, prohibits the use of two-wheeled vehicles for public transport.
The proposed Motorcycles-For-Hire Act, which will amend RA 4136, is still pending at the committee levels in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Transport groups have been urging Congress to approve the measure, citing motorcycles as a cheaper form of transportation as well as its ability to provide employment opportunities.
Senator Mary Grace S. Poe-Llamanzares, who chairs the public services committee, previously said “it is now high time” for Congress to pass a motorcycles-for-hire law.
She cited a technical working group survey that said 96% of motorcycle taxi commuters are in favor of allowing motorcycle taxis as mode of transportation. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz