The Land Transportation Office (LTO) headquarters last week issued a directive to its Tagbilaran City office ordering the apprehension of habal-habal (motorcycle-for-hire) operators and drivers.
According to LTO Tagbilaran chief Jubilee Dionsion, the LTO 7 has already started to implement the memorandum after the Land Transportation and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Department of Transportation (DOTr) deemed the mode of public transportation illegal.
The issue on the operation of habal-habal units resurfaced following the Supreme Court’s issuance of a temporary restraining order against motorcycle ride-hailing app “Angkas.”
The TRO however did not pertain to Angkas’ operations per se.
It barred a Mandaluyong court from enforcing the injunction it issued against DOTr and LTFRB which prevented the agencies from intervening with Angkas’ operations.
While Angkas mostly operates in Metro Manila, the case has prompted authorities to revisit the issue on habal-habal operation which the law prohibits as motorcycles are supposedly banned from being used as public utility vehicles.
However, Dionson said that proper information dissemination on the policy will be conducted first before they start to arrest habal-habal drivers.
The apprehension will be initially focused on habal-habal operations in Tagbilaran City, he added.
LTO Tagbilaran is also considering to hold off the arrests until the end of the Christmas season to allow habal-habal drivers to earn during the holidays. (A. Doydora)