With mass transportation still proving to be a problem for many Filipinos, Senator Sonny Angara has proposed to make the operations of ‘habal-habal’ or motorcycles-for-hire legal.

Angara has filed Senate Bill 1025 or Motorcycles-for-hire Act, which seeks to classify motorcycles-for-hire or two-wheeled vehicles as public transportation, amending the Land Transportation and Traffic Code. The Code at present, only allows four-wheeled vehicles such as trucks and taxis to be registered with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) as transportation service providers. 

Technically, “habal-habal” is still considered illegal under the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, which covers the registration and operation of all motor vehicles in the country.

“Commuting in Metro Manila has become very challenging.”

Angkas, for instance, 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 2 oras mo sa byahe,” Senator Sonny 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,” Angara added.

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

“However, individuals and even unaccredited transport groups, continue to utilize motorcycles for public transport despite explicit prohibition of such operation under the same law,” the veteran legislator said.

“I have filed a bill seeking to legalize the operation of motorcycles-for-hire.”

Motorcycles-for-hire have long been around and for some provinces, this is even a considered a primary mode of public transportation.

“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,” the seasoned lawmaker said.

Senate Bill 1025 amends 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 order to be registered for transporting passengers, a motorcycle must have a minimum engine displacement of 125 cubic centimeters and a backbone-type built.

The LTO will be tasked to ensure the road worthiness 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 foot pegs and appropriate speed limiter and monitoring device.

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