The Department of Energy donated 900 electric tricycles to four Metro Manila local government units last year.
Woes on proliferation of e-bicycles in Metro Manila endorsed to DOTr
( - July 25, 2019 - 7:21pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Manila Council, the policy-making body of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, agreed Thursday to endorse the problems on the proliferation of e-bicycles to the Department of Transportation.

Is e-vehicle a toy?

During their meeting, Metro Manila mayors raised concern on the proliferation of electronic vehicles on the roads.

The MMDA earlier advised local governments to ban battery-operated vehicles from public roads, citing that they are classified as “toys.”

This sparked confusion among mayors who only learned of this classification during the meeting.

Only e-bicycles are classified 'toys'

Caloocan Vice Mayor Maca Asistio, president of the Vice Mayor’s League, said he was surprised to find out that e-tricycles were considered “toys.”

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, on the other hand, called on the DOTr to classify the electronic vehicles.

“It is ironic that DOTr is promoting electric vehicles. So which is which? It is high-time for DOTr to qualify these types of vehicles. Can they be used as public vehicles?” Moreno was quoted as saying by his city government's public information office.

“Nakakalungkot dito, we want to recognize LTFRB’s (Land Transportation Franchise and Regulatory Board’s) authority,” Moreno said.

Moreno added that DOTr should not promote e-trikes if they are presently classified as a “toy.”

“Don’t sell it in the city,” the Manila mayor said.

“Please guide us,” he told the DOTr.

MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia meanwhile said he was referring to e-bikes and not e-tricycles, being used as public vehicles.

Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco, however, said there are e-bicycles with three wheels known as "e-trikes."

'DOE sponsors e-vehicles'

Tiangco said his city has a problem with e-tricycles. He said he prohibited it but the Department of Energy promotes it.

The DOE last year sponsored hundreds of electricity-run vehicles in some city governments as it promotes the use of cleaner sources of energy.

READ: DOE donates 900 e-trikes to 4 Metro LGUs | Manila gov’t gets e-trikes from Department of Energy

The electronic vehicles with three wheels are eyed to replace the gasoline-run tricycles targeted to be phased out by the government.

Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez also raised concern over the lack of policy on e-tricycles.

"Maraming e-trike, magulo. Hindi registered. Walang maliwanag na clear-cut policy," Olivarez said.

Garcia stressed that e-bikes are not allowed on public roads.

E-trikes banned in Manila

Meanwhile, Moreno, for his part, said he ordered a ban on e-tricycles in the Philippines’ capital because it “generates chaos."

"Ako pinapa-pull out ko na (I ordered it’s pull-out). We will pull it out kasi (because) it generates chaos," Moreno was quoted as saying after the Metro Manila Council meeting.

Moreno cited that MMDA Chair Danny Lim already said the agency would review the use of e-tricycles because unlike jeepneys they have no routes.

He added that the LTFRB could not regulate e-tricycles because these are not motorized vehicles.

Moreno lamented how e-tricycles grabbed the opportunity to earn from jeepney drivers who are given franchise. — Rosette Adel

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