Bill Seeking to Legalize Motorcycles-for-Hire Now Filed in Senate
Let's face it: with traffic congestion happening in the country today, commuters will find ways to arrive to their destination on time--even if it means hitching a ride on motorcycles-for-hire--or what many refer to as "habal-habals."
Yet despite being an accepted mode of transport for many Filipino commuters today, these motorcycle taxis are still considered illegal under the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.
It's for this reason that Senator Edgardo Angara has filed a bill that seeks to legalize these bikes-for-hire in the country. According to him, "individuals and even unaccredited transport groups, continue to utilize motorcycles for public transport despite explicit prohibition of such operation under the same law."
Senate Bill 1025
Senate Bill 1025 proposes that motorcycles be registered with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) as "for hire" commercial vehicles, and not limited to private or government use alone.
Once turned into law, these for-hire motorcycles will be considered a legal transport option for commuters on the road.
"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.
ABS-CBN reported that there are currently 5 million registered motorcycles in the Philippines used as livelihood. The figures were given by Angeline Tham, Chief Executive Officer for Angkas, the Philippines' biggest motorcycle taxi-hailing platform today.