Lifting of e-scooter ban, suspension of provision in Ordinance 801 sought
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Sugbo Skooteros, the community of electronic scooter users in Cebu City, has met with the Bike Lane Adhoc Committee and the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) today, October 1, 2020, to jumpstart the discussions on the regulation of this modern mode of transportation.
According to Lawyer Gerry Carillo, chairperson of the Adhoc Committee representing Mayor Edgardo Labella, the Skooteros were able to present their suggestions to them for what he said might be considered a good compromise for the city.
As the city is tied to its Ordinance 801 or the City Transportation Code, the biggest hurdle would be amending this legislation to include the regulations of the relatively new e-scooters.
Carillo said that the Skooteros would now be part of the Sugbo Bike Lane committee in the formulation of traffic regulations on the bike lanes, where scooter users would share with bikers.
The Sugbo Skooteros will also help formulate the legislation for the e-scooter regulations as to how these scooters can be registered, regulated, and the models of scooters that will be covered in the regulation.
“Our goal is to keep everyone safe including the user, the pedestrian, the other motorists, and anybody that may encounter the e-scooters,” said Carillo.
Since this goal may take time depending on how fast the City Council can amend the existing ordinance or draft a new one, the Adhoc Committee will try to ask the Council to suspend the implementation of the particular section in Ordinance 801 stating that coasters, roller skaters, and toy vehicles or similar devices are prohibited in any roadway, except while crossing a street.
The CCTO has used this section as their justification on the ban of e-scooters, which also came at a time when the Land Transportation Office (LTO) was seeking to regulate these motorized vehicles.
Carillo said that only a suspension could lift the temporary ban and the decision would lie on the Sangguniang Panglungsod and on Mayor Edgardo Labella.
The Adhoc Committee said it was confident that with the support of Councilors Joel Garganera, Junjun Osmeña, and Donaldo Hontiveros, the suspension and the drafting of a new or amending ordinance could all happen within the year.
One of the points agreed upon between the committee and the Skooteros is the need for registration. This is the only way for the city to have a measure of control over the users of the e-scooters.
This would also allow accountability for the users of the e-scooters as well as an added safety measure should there be accidents on the streets.
For now, Carillo said the ban will still remain until the ordinance has been suspended. He urged the e-scooter users to be patient for a while as they had to work on these regulations that would only be for their safety.
Dr. Evanuelle Mendoza, one of the founders of the Sugbo Skooteros, told CDN Digital in a text message that they were satisfied with the plan of action by the city government.
“The plans laid out in today’s meeting proved to be promising. The suspension of the implementation of Article 4 Section 7 until a more comprehensive ordinance be in effect was very much appreciated by our community,” he said.
“Furthermore, we would love to work with CCTO and Sugbo Bike lanes to help us push our city to the future of inclusive mobility. We will be working closely with CCTO on a local regulation and registration for our skooteros and will be submitting a draft soon,” he said./dbs
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