First District Rep. Edgar Chatto is confident that Congress will pass a bill he authored which seeks to allow motorcycles-for-hire, locally known as habal-habal, to operate as regular public utility vehicles and to regulate the motorcycle taxi industry.
Chatto, a veteran legislator, said that they have established a technical working group (TWG) to consolidate all proposed measures involving the operations of motorcycles-for-hire.
“Nagtuo to ko na dili lisod ang pagpasar sa balaod. Ang importante lang magkasibo ang tanang parties concerned sa guidelines na subayon sa accreditation sa mga operators ug pila e-allow kada area, mao niy mga butang na importante,” he said.
The issue on motorcycles-for-hire particularly in large cities such as Cebu City and Metro Manila have become controversial due to legal hurdles and regulatory issues that have stifled the operations of popular motorcycle ride-hailing firm Angkas.
However, Chatto’s House Bill (HB) No. 4141 covers all motorcycles-for-hire including those that ply the province’s roads. The measure seeks to amend Republic Act (RA) 4136, otherwise known as the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.
According to Chatto, RA 4136 prohibits the registration of motorcycles as public transport as these are classified only for private use, making their operations illegal.
Habal-habals have been operating illegally and through the leniency of local government units while ride-hailing companies such as Angkas and new industry players Move It and Joyride operate through a pilot testing for motorcycle taxis overseen by a national government TWG.
Chatto said that the use of motorcycles-for-hire should no longer be abolished and it should instead be legalized and regulated given that these provide convenience to the public and livelihood to drivers.
“It’s become a way of life. Ang mga taw na g’yud ang mo reklamo kung ma wa ang habal-habal and at the same time livelihood pud ni sa daghang habal-habal operators,” he added.
The regulation aspect of the bill would allow the registration of motorcycles-for-hire and improve safety for both operators and passengers.
Chatto’s HB 4141 has been referred to the House’s committee on transportation.
The bill joins a string of measures seeking to legalize motorcycles-for-hire as public transport including HB 13 filed by Cebu City Rep. Raul, HB 37 filed by Muntinlupa Rep. Rozzano Biazon, HB 565 filed by Cebu City 2nd Dist. Rep. Rodrigo Abellanosa, HB 1409 filed by Quezon City 2nd District Rep. Alfred Vargas, HB 2219 filed by Ilocos Norte 2nd Dist. Rep. Eugenio Barba and HB 2618 filed by Isabela 1st Dist. Antonio Albano, among others. (A. Doydora)