A bill now under deliberation in Congress seeks to legitimize the operation of habal-habal as public transport in order to protect operators, drivers and the riding public.
Rep. Edgar Chatto recognized the need to legitimize its operations since this motorcycles-for-hire have been an emerging trend in urban areas as a means to beat traffic problems while it serves in reaching inaccessible places in the rural areas.
The Bohol solon stressed these points during the virtual meeting of the Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Committee on Transportation last April 20.
In deliberations on bills allowing and regulating the use of motorcycles as Public Utility Vehicle, Chatto asked “ What if motorcycles for hire are categorized like tricycles?
He also cited the need to have the Local Governments as the regulating agency in its operations.
He explained that local regulation will allow for overseeing technology, proper licensing, vehicle registration and insurance.
He further stressed that regulation by local governments can be considered since the core of the discussion is for operators to have proper authority.
“Because they are in fact already operating and providing transport service to people especially in the countryside,” stated Chatto.
He added that the standards of operation can still be set by national agencies. He however also emphasized that while motorcycles for hire have become essential especially in the provinces, not all provinces have a Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) office and Land Transportation Offices (LTO) are situated only in strategic cities.
“It is important to assess the capacity of applicants to legitimize operations and ensure convenience and access,” Chatto said.
In response, DOTr Asec. Alberto Suansing said operators can form groups for easier monitoring.
Popular motorcycle for hire and package delivery company Angkas co-founder George Royeca also said the small groups, may it be cooperative, corporation or organization of motorcycle for hire operators can be basis for registration and policy on regulation.
Meanwhile, TWG Chair and Navotas representative John Rey Tiangco agreed with Chatto’s comments on simplifying procedures for franchising of habal-habal committing to include Chatto’s important inputs in the final version of the bill.
House Bill 4141, Motorcycles for Hire Act, authored by Chatto is among bills deliberated at Committee Level to amend Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.