Yap files bill to legalize ‘habal-habal’

Rep. Arthur Yap | File Photo: Art Yap’s Facebook page

Deputy Speaker Arthur Yap filed a bill seeking to amend the Land Transportation Code to allow the use of habal-habal (motorcycle-for-hire) for passenger transport subject to the regulation and grant of franchise to operate motorcycles-for-hire within their territorial jurisdiction.

In House Bill 8819, which Yap filed on January 9,  the municipality or city shall receive, process, and evaluate all applications for the grant of the franchise to operate motorcycles-for-hire known as habal-habal  within their territorial jurisdiction.


Yap explained that while the motorcycle is a valid mode for transportation and accessibility, it is not originally intended for public transportation.


 However, the shortage or lack of common or traditional forms of a public transport network and infrastructure such as mass public transportation both in urban and rural areas is usually substituted with other modes such as multicabs, tricycles and “habal-habal”, Yap added.

 “While habal-habal provides facility and mobility to the people in going to work, school, market, church, etc., the safety of our people’s lives and limbs are of primordial consideration. Hence, the need for the use of habal-habal to be regulated,”according to Yap.


Yap cited that Section 458 (1)(vi) of Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, grants municipal and city governments the power to regulate the operation of tricycles and grant franchises for the operation thereof within their territorial jurisdiction, subject to guidelines by the Department of Transportation. This provision aims to promote the safety of the riding public.

 House Bill 8819 seeks to amend Section 458(1)(vi) of RA. 7160 and Section 7(c) of R.A. 4136 – Land Transportation Code to allow the use of habal-habalfor passenger, goods, and cargo transport, as a common carrier, subject to the regulation and grant of a franchise to operate motorcycles for hire within their territorial jurisdiction by the city or municipal government.

In HB 8819, Yap proposed that “any person applying for the grant of franchise to operate a motorcycle-for-hire shall submit a certification of the punong barangay attesting that the applicant is a bonafide resident of the barangay within the city or municipality, a certificate of registration and official receipt of registration payment for the said motorcycle unit; and a deed of undertaking by the owner that the unit applied for will be operated only within the said city or municipality”.

Then, after favorable consideration of the application, the same shall be endorsed to the Sangguniang bayan or Sangguniang panglungsod for the issuance of a franchise for the operation of the motorcycle-for-hire within the territorial jurisdiction of the city or municipality, Yap explained.

The franchise shall indicate the place or route where the motorcycle-for-hire is authorized to operate.

“Moreover, the authority grant to local government unit to regulate motorcycles-for-hire shall be limited and confined to the boundaries of the city or municipality. The local government unit may only grant a franchise to motorcycles operating within the city or municipality and owned by residents thereof,” according to Yap.

HB 8819 is entitled, “An Act Regulating Motorcycles-for-Hire Known as Habal-Habal or Angkas, thereby Authorizing Cities and Municipalities to Grant for Their Operations, Amending for the Purpose Section 458 (1) (Vi) of the Republic Act No. 7160, as Amended Otherwise Known as The Local Government Code of the Philippines”.

When passed into law, it shall be called “Motorcycles-For-Hire Act of 2019.”

It is noted in the proposed provision for the Declaration of Policy that to meet the State’s policy to promote public safety and security, the State provides a mechanism for regulation of public transport services. 

“Despite the government’s intensified programs to meet this end, existing laws do not regulate all forms of public transport services such as motorcycles-for-hire; thus defeating the State’s policy. To protect and promote safety and welfare of the riding public, the local governments, particularly cities and municipalities, should be empowered to regulate the operations of motorcycles-for-hire also known as habal-habal or angkas,” Yap pointed out.

It is to be understood that “motorcycle-for-hire known as habal-habalor angkas shall denote a motorcycle that will carry passengers, goods and other small cargo for a fee as a common carrier”.

 “Motorcycles-for-hire or habal-habal operate in rural and urban areas of the country, especially in the interior roads and in hilly, sloping and mountainous barangays where there is a lack of jeepneys, buses and other forms of transportation,” as specified in the provision on the definition of terms.

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