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Where are you going Angkas/habal-habal?

By: Atty. Ruphil Bañoc December 20,2018 - 10:20 PM

BAÑOC

Until such time that motorcycles-for-hire are legalized, after undergoing heavy and thorough debates in Congress, franchise may be obtained, and there will be insurance for the riding public.

The motorcycle-for-hire, locally known as habal-habal, had operated in various parts of the countryside for a long time now.

I myself have experienced countless times riding this motorcycle service.

Being a native of Leyte, I am familiar with motorcycle-for-hire since I was in the elementary grade.

It is the only means of transportation in the mountain barangays that cannot be accessed by a 4-wheel vehicle.

In fact, the single motorcycles being used to transport passengers are modified by putting a roof to protect the passengers from rain, and an extension to accommodate more passengers even up to 11 persons, with one passenger sitting on the tank in front of the driver – indeed an innovation, Filipino style.

When I arrived here in Cebu for work after graduating from college, the single motorcycle-for-hire was not yet in demand as there are jeepneys and taxis. The same thing in the provinces, the motorcycles-for-hire exist only in the mountain barangays.

People in the city are aware of the danger of single motorcycle running side-by-side with 4-wheel vehicles on the roads.

But the heavy and monstrous traffic every day, which is a result of the increasing number of vehicles using the same unimproved roads, force people to ride on habal-habal.

I experience hiring habal-habal every Sinulog because it is the only means of transportation that can pass through the traffic congestion in the heart of the city. I really appreciate its usefulness during these times.

There was another incident when I hired habal-habal as I anticipated that I’d be late for my flight if I get swallowed by traffic.

I was very much aware of the danger of riding on it from Cebu City, and passing the highways of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu.

Based on my experience, the fear of accident was overtaken by the worry to be late.

Truly, the single motorcycle I hired was not affected by the traffic jam because the driver found ways to overtake other vehicles.

I just cautioned him to be extra careful.

I arrived at MCIA before the boarding time schedule.

I felt relieved.

However, I was frustrated hearing the announcement that the plane’s arrival would be delayed, a fact which is almost as natural as traffic.

In fact, it was delayed for almost 3 hours.

It was only then that I meditated on my dangerous experience riding the habal-habal, especially in the city.

I am pretty sure that I share almost the same experience with commuters on the daily traffic congestion especially during peak hours.

Hence, people are divided on their stand on the Supreme Court decision stopping the motorcycle-for-hire with or without Angkas applications.

When I interviewed LTFRB-7 Director Eduardo Montealto over DYHP RMN Cebu, I also understand his point because as per data, there is at least three accidents daily involving single motorcycles.

So it is very dangerous to the riding public, worsened by the fact that it does not have passenger insurance.

Until such time that motorcycles-for-hire are legalized, after undergoing heavy and thorough debates in Congress, franchise may be obtained, and there will be insurance for the riding public.

In the meantime, the Supreme Court has already spoken on the matter.

It should be respected.

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