Sitoy ready to defend bike-riding ordinance
Cebu Provincial Board (PB) Member Arleigh Sitoy said he is ready to defend his proposed ordinance to ban motorcycle tandem riding in the province.
“Mandaluyong City was able to defend it. I think I will also defend it. Anyway, it is still subject to public consultation,” Sitoy said in reference to a similar ordinance by Mandaluyong City that was opposed by motorcycle riders.
City Ordinance 550 of Mandaluyong City that bans male passengers on motorcycles unless they are related to the driver took effect last Sept. 4.
Sitoy’s proposed ordinance was referred to the Committee on Public Safety chaired by PB Member Sun Shimura after the proposal was called on first reading at yesterday’s session at the Capitol Legislative Building.
The committee will set a public hearing to discuss the proposed ordinance.
Sitoy said he is willing to entertain inputs from the police, civil society groups and human rights groups, among others. He said the ordinance can help curb crimes.
“We’ve been trying to solve that problem but we haven’t come up with solutions until now. I think this is one of those solutions,” he said.
Sitoy said he received reports of a plot hatched by foreigners to take him down last week.
“I was told that they came up with money to assassinate me or whatever. That’s why I am pushing this ordinance because it’s not only me that’s affected. A lot of people died at the hands of gunmen riding on motorcycles,” he said.
Sitoy also said the ordinance will also force local government units to address the legitimacy of habal-habal (motorcycle for hire) drivers.
In his proposed ordinance, habal-habal drivers are exempted from the law if they can show proof of payment.
Asked how it is possible to monitor habal-habal drivers, Sitoy said it is the local government’s role to address the issue.
“We say it is illegal but they are there. What do we do? We might as well have them legitimized,” he said.
Sitoy said he will look for a way to make the ordinance less stringent compared to Mandaluyong City.
“The inconvenience is outweighed by the evil we are trying to prevent,” he said.
He said he will suggest a transition period of at least two months if the ordinance is approved.
Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said he is still undecided on the “wisdom” behind Sitoy’s ordinance.
“I have yet to take that up but we’ll see. Maybe there is wisdom behind that proposal. I’m sure there’s going to be a public hearing. There are penal clauses, we will listen to the views of the public,” he said.
Sitoy’s ordinance prohiibits unrelated persons from riding in motorcycles in the province’s component towns, cities and major thoroughfares.
The only persons allowed to ride with the motorcycle rider are married partners, first cousins and children 7 to 10 years old.
Davide acknowledged the importance of motorcycles especially to people who cannot afford cars.
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