Lawmaker pushes to legalize ‘habal-habal’ ops amid Metro Manila traffic woes

Robie de Guzman   •   October 17, 2019   •   578

MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker is pushing to make the operations of “habal-habal”, or motorcycle-for-hire, legal amid worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila.

In filing Senate Bill No. 1025 or Motorcycles-for-hire Act, Senator Sonny Angara proposes to classify motorcycles-for-hire as public transportation, amending Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.

The code only allows the registration of motorcycles for either private or government and prohibits its listing as a vehicle for hire.

Under the proposed amendment, Angara wants motorcycles to be registered with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) as ‘for hire’ and may be used as a commercial vehicle to transport passengers and goods.

Angara’s proposal comes after the Light Rail Transit line 2 (LRT-2) implemented partial operations while it is repairing its power rectifiers that were damaged after it caught fire early this month.

“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,” he said in a statement.

“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,” he added.

According to Angara, the heavy traffic and glitches in mass transit systems in Metro Manila have forced some commuters to look for other transportation options such as hiring commercial motorcycles even if it is considered illegal under the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.

“The demand for this service simply cannot be ignored, which is why I have filed a bill seeking to legalize the operation of motorcycles-for-hire,” he said.

Angara cited the case of motorcycle ride-hailing service Angkas, which was recently allowed to operate for six months as part of a pilot-run of ‘motorcycle taxis.

The Department of Transportation earlier said this is to help lawmakers finalize proposals on motorcycle ride booking.

Under the bill, a motorcycle may register for transporting passengers if it has a minimum engine displacement of 125 cubic centimeters and a backbone-type built.

The 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 will 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.

Metro Manila may ease to GCQ after August 18 – Lorenzana

Robie de Guzman   •   August 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who also serves as the chairman of the National Task Force on COVID-19, on Monday expressed confidence that the National Capital Region (NCR) will be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) after August 18.

Lorenzana said that recent data on COVID-19 cases show that Metro Manila is ready to loosen its coronavirus lockdown after its two-week return to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) restriction.

He said the trend is “going down” after the Department of Health reported around 3,000 additional cases on Sunday.

Lorenzana said this number is lower compared to the 6,000 increase in recent days.

Metro Manila, as well as Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite and Rizal were placed under MECQ until August 18 after medical workers appealed for a “timeout” amid rising COVID-19 cases.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año also expressed optimism that the re-imposition of a stricter quarantine measure, coupled with the observance of health protocols, will slow down the transmission of coronavirus disease in the country

“Titingnan natin yung figures pero ako, I am optimistic na with the 15 days MECQ, bababa yan. Ang kailangan lang ay sumunod. Huwag na tayong maging pasaway, stay at home,” he said.

He also reiterated his appeal to the public to be responsible and strictly follow advise to only leave their homes for essential needs.

“With 15 days staying at home marami tayong virus diyan na mapapatay kasi incubation period or 14 days talaga namang mamamatay yung virus. Bago pa makalipat sa ibang tao mamatay na yung virus. So please do your partnering,” he said.  – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Tricycle, e-trikes at bangka, pinayagan nang bumiyahe ng ilang LGUs

Marje Pelayo   •   August 4, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Ilang lokal na pamahalaan sa Metro Manila ang pinayagan na ang pagbyahe ng mga tricycle, e-trikes at bangka sa kani-kanilang lugar sa gitna ng pag-iral ng modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Subalit, tiniyak ng mga ito na nasusunod ang mahigpit na health and safety protocols para sa mga drivers at pasahero. 

Sa Navotas City, may byahe na ng bangka papunta sa Malabon City para maghatid ng mga pasaherong papasok sa trabaho at uuwi sa kani-kanilang bahay. 

Limang piso (P5) kada isang tao ang singil ng mga bangkero at ayon kay Geronimo Meno, malaking tulong na ito pantawid sa kaniyang pamilya.

“Nakakaraos naman pang-araw-araw. Kahit pang-bigas, nakakakuha,” pahayag nito.

Si Lalaine Ama, malaki na ang nagastos para lang makapasok sa trabaho simula nang magluwag ang community quarantine sa Metro Manila.

Mula Navotas City ay kailangan niyang bumiyahe patungong Quezon City araw-araw.

“Noong unang linggo ng June na pumasok na, P400 plus ang pamasahe ko,” aniya.

Ngayong balik MECQ, naglaaan na ng service ang kanilang kumpanya pero sa Malabon pa ito nakahimpil kaya kailangan pa rin niyang sumakay ng bangka para makarating kung saan nakaistasyon ang kanilang service.

Pero malaking tipid na rin aniya kasya sumakay siya ng tricycle palabas ng C4 kung saan gagastos siya ng P50 kada byahe.

Bukod sa bangka ay pinayagan na ring makabyahe ang tricycle at pedicab pero ayon kay Mang Virgilio Cañese, mababa na sa ngayon ang kanilang kinikita.

“Dati nakaka P400 kami, P500. Ngayon swerte na maka P100 ka ngayon dahil walang tumatawid,” ayon kay Mang Virgilio na 30 taon ng padyak driver.

Pinayagan ng city government ang ganitong sasakyan sa ilalim ng MECQ para makapaghatid ng mga manggagawa na pinapayagang makapagtrabaho partikular sa Navotas Fishport.

Sa Maynila naman, pinayagan na ni Mayor Isko Domagoso ang pagpasada ng mga tricycle, e-trikes at pedicab sa lungsod kahit MECQ upang matulungan ang mga driver na kumita para sa kanilang pamilya.

Gayunman, mahigpit ang bilin ng alkalde na isang pasahero lang dapat sa bawat byahe ang pwedeng maisakay.

“Kaya sa lahat ng kaanak ninyo, maghanap buhay kayo sa tatlong gulong. Mayroon lang akong ipakikisuyo: tupdin natin ang panawagan ng IATF. Hangga’t maaari, isang pasahero lang,” pagbibigay diin nito.

Bukod sa Navotas at Maynila, pinayagan na rin ang mga sasakyang ito sa lugar ng Muntinlupa, Pasig, Paranaque, Taguig, Valenzuela, at Quezon City. 

Sa isang panayam sinabi ni Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Jojo Garcia na papayagan lamang ang mga tricycle na bumiyahe kung ito ay para maghatid ng medical frontliners, sa panahon ng emergency, at para sa mga taong kailangang bumili ng essential goods. –MNP (sa ulat ni Rey Pelayo)

Duterte extends GCQ anew in Metro Manila until August 15

Marje Pelayo   •   July 31, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Friday (July 31) that he is again extending the implementation of  general community quarantine(GCQ) in Metro Manila starting August 1 to 15.

Aside from the National Capital Region, the following areas are also placed under GCQ until August 15:

  • Bulacan
  • Batangas
  • Cavite
  • Laguna
  • Rizal
  • Cebu Province
  • Lapu-Lapu City
  • Mandaue City
  • Talisay City
  • Minglanilla
  • Consolacion
  • Zamboanga City

Meanwhile, the rest of the country are placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

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