Solon wants to legalize motorcycles-for-hire

MANILA � Senator Edgardo "Sonny" Angara has filed a measure seeking to legalize the operation of motorcycles-for-hire.

Angara filed Senate Bill 1025, which seeks to amend the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, to allow motorcycles to be registered with the Land Transportation Office as for hire and may be used as a commercial vehicle to transport passengers and goods.

In a statement on Thursday, he said the worsening traffic problem in Metro Manila and the frequently bogged-down mass transit systems highlight the need to provide commuters with an alternative mode of transportation, such as motorcycles-for-hire or "habal-habal".

He, however, noted that the increasingly-popular mode of transport is still considered illegal under the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, which covers the registration and operation of all motor vehicles in the country.

He cited the case of motorcycle ride-hailing service Angkas, which was allowed to operate for six months starting last June 8 as part of a pilot-run of "motorcycle taxis".

Commuting in Metro Manila has become very challenging. A typical commuter has to allocate at least two hours to get to work or school and that is if their regular modes of transport are available. What if the MRT breaks down? Kulang pa ang dalawang oras mo sa byahe (Two hours would not be enough for the commute), Angara said.

Tulad nitong nangyari sa LRT-2 na nasunog. Libo-libong Pilipino ang naperwisyo nito at karamihan sa kanila ay habal na ang sinasakyan para mas mabilis makarating sa destinasyon nila at mas mura din ito kumpara sa Grab (Just like the fire incident in LRT-2, thousands of Filipinos were inconvenienced and most of them resorted to the use of the habal-habal as a mode of transportation to reach their destination because it's cheaper compared to Grab), he added.

Republic Act 4136, or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, only allows the registration of motorcycles for either private or government use and prohibit its listing as a vehicle for hire.

However, individuals and even unaccredited transport groups, continue to utilize motorcycles for public transport despite (the) explicit prohibition of such operation under the same law, Angara said.

Under the bill, a motorcycle must have a minimum engine displacement of 125 cubic cm. and a backbone-type built to be registered for transporting passengers.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) will be tasked to ensure the roadworthiness of motorcycles-for-hire before they are registered.

To further ensure their safety, no modifications on the motorcycles would be allowed, except for the installation, based on safe engineering design specifications, of motorcycle luggage carriers, saddlebags, step boards or footpegs, and appropriate speed limiter and monitoring device. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency