CEBU CITY, Philippines –Cebu City councilor Joel Garganera believes it is not a good time to ban e-scooters, or electronic scooters, from the streets here, saying these are good alternative modes of transportation, especially during this time of pandemic.
The Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) on Thursday, September 24, 2020, said it will ban the use of the e-scooters in all major and city roads amid the call of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to register these electronic bikes.
The CCTO will begin to apprehend those using e-scooters starting Friday, September 25. Those caught will have their scooters impounded.
Garganera, who was seen riding an e-scooter during this year’s Sinulog Festival 2020 launching parade, said in a statement that this move was “untimely.”
“It is untimely that this city will put limitations to people’s access to affordable, clean and environmentally friendly, social distancing alternative mode of transportation,” Garganera said. “We are the only city in the country who will be doing it.”
The Land Transportation Office in Central Visayas (LTO-7) earlier warned the public against using electric scooters on major roads like highways.
“Basta gani nagdagan sa dalan, powered other than human force, it must be registered. So ang scooter, dili pwede sa dalan kay wala may rehistro. Ang ikaduha nga panguta, nganong dili marehistro? Kay wala paman ang guidelines sa registration,” LTO-7 Regional Director Victor Caindec said.
(As long as it’s running on the road, powered other than human force, it must be registered. So scooters are not allowed on the road since they are not registered. The second question is, why can’t they be registered? Because there aren’t any guidelines for their registration.)
But Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in an Inquirer.net report that he personally disagrees with the proposal on registration of electric and gas-powered scooters, citing issues for motor registration during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ayaw ko pangunahan pero kung tatanungin mo ako, payag ba akong ma-rehistro? Personal na opinyon ko ‘yun, pero makiking ako sa nakakarami: Ayaw ko. Kasi ngayon nga ho yung rehistro ng sasakyan, pinostpone natin, inextend natin. E bakit ngayon pati e-scooter?” Tugade said during DZRH radio program ‘Dos Por Dos’ on Wednesday, responding to the idea of registration for scooters.
(I don’t want to get ahead of myself but if you ask me, ‘am I in favor of having the scooters registered?’ This is my personal opinion but if I will listen to the public, I don’t want to. Because even the registration for cars, we had that postponed. Why do we need to have e-scooters registered?)
In a separate statement on Thursday, the DOTr stressed that there are no official guidelines yet for those using the said vehicle as the initial draft is not yet reviewed by the attached agencies of DOTr.
The LTO also said earlier that they are drafting guidelines for the use of e-scooters, which includes the requirement of registration of the said vehicle as well as driver’s license for those using it.
This Garganera also cited in his statement.
“There is no official or final guidelines yet on the use of electric e-scooters on public roads, it’s still being reviewed by DOTR Road Sector, Legal Affairs and the Office of the DOTR Secretary,” he said.
The CCTO on Thursday said the agency anchors its order to ban e-scooters on City Ordinance Ordinance 801 or the Traffic Code of the City.
Cebu City Ordinance 801 states that coasters, roller skaters, and toy vehicles or similar devices are prohibited in any roadway, except while crossing a street.