‘Habal-habal’ may go mobile in Cebu City

By Jose Santino S. Bunachita May 18,2017

CEBU City residents may soon be able to hail motorcyles-for-hire or habal-habal drivers through their cell phones.

Despite a warning from an official of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the Cebu City government is adamant in pursuing the program in the city.

Arnel Tancinco, the mayor’s executive assistant assigned to look into the city’s habal-habal industry, said even if the LTFRB has its regulations over vehicles, the city also has the power to issue permits based on the Local Government Code.

“As to who has the authority, it’s the national government as far as motor vehicles including motorcycles. For me, it’s the DOTr (Department of Transportation). I have doubts if LTFRB has authority over motorcycles but if they insist, I don’t argue and I don’t contradict,” he said.

“But we have to be clear that the city also, based on the Local Government Code, has the authority to issue permits. So we will be invoking that,” Tancinco said.

His reaction came after LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada said the transport service network Uber cannot roll out its UberMoto in Cebu since they are not compliant with the agency’s terms and conditions for a transport network company (TNC).

In an Inquirer report, Lizada also cited safety and fare issues that have yet to be approved by the agency.

UberMoto will allow people to book motorcycle rides using a mobile application.

Tancinco earlier announced that at least three of these providers have started visiting City Hall asking to implement the feature.

Aside from UberMoto, Grab Express and Angkas also plan to roll out the service in Cebu.

But since Lizada’s comment was addressed to UberMoto, Tancinco said the other two may still be able to push through.

He said though that before these providers can start their service in the city, the city government will still have to pass an ordinance allowing this service in the city.

Tancinco said Mayor Tomas Osmeña had been supportive of the habal-habal industry in the city including leveling up their operations through Uber, Grab and Angkas.

Tancinco held an orientation with some habal-habal drivers in City Hall to introduce to them the proposals of the three companies.

He said it is up to the drivers if they are interested to apply for the program. Delfin Adolfo of the Cebu City Riders welcomed the proposal.

“We don’t have a problem with this. It’s good. But it will depend on the drivers if they want it,” he said.

Their group has over 3,000 members in 49 different barangays in both the north and south districts of Cebu City.

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