Labella supports ordinance regulating habal-habal drivers
CEBU CITY, Philippines –Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said he supports the ordinance of Councilor Raymond Garcia to regulate habal-habals or motorcycle taxis in the city still under the provisions of the Land Transportation Code of the Philippines.
In a phone conference with reporters on Friday, September 6, 2019, Labella said he welcomes the development of such ordinance because the motortaxis are necessary modes of transportation in Cebu City, which comprises of a varied land area with a flat downtown and mountainous uptown barangays.
“We need to regulate them, especially in those areas in the mountain barangays, where there is no efficient mode of travel,” said the mayor.
The motorcycle taxi is a common mode of transportation in the 28 mountain barangays of the city, and is the only mode of public transportation in some of these areas.
Garcia filed the ordinance to the Cebu City City Council seeking to grant the “Local Government of Cebu City the power and authority to issue local regulatory licenses and permits to operators of motorcycle taxis, commonly known as ‘habal-habal’ and transport network companies” within the city.
The ordinance includes regulations for habal-habal drivers to follow, including the need for a complete driver’s license from the Land Transportation Office (LTO), a registration from the barangays, a registration fee of P500 to the city, and for the drivers to take riding skills training and traffic rules and registration seminar.
Garcia said the drivers must also wear a uniform to signify that he is a registered habal-habal driver of that area.
A habal-habal driver, at all times, must have a helmet on and a spare helmet for his or her passenger.
The driver must also carry with him his license, his motorcycle’s ownership certificate or registration, and his or her own motortaxi registration that comes from the city.
Finally, the habal-habal drivers must get a valid motor registration third-party insurance coverage in case of an accident.
The ordinance is pending in the committee on laws. But in previous statements, the LTO in Central Visayas (LTO-7) already said the ordinance may not be appropriate since the habal-habals have not been legalized by the national government.
Victor Caindec, LTO-7 director, had said that the city cannot regulate something that remains to be illegal. /bmjo
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