High fare among issues raised vs habal-habals during Cebu City public hearing
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - November 29, 2016 - 11:45pm

CEBU, Philippines - Impact on the traffic situation, color coding, possible routes, and standard fare rates are among the concerns raised during a public hearing on the proposed ordinance granting the Cebu City government authority to regulate habal-habal (motorcycles-for-hire) operations in the city yesterday.

During the hearing, Pardo Motorcycle Organization and the Capitol Site barangay council expressed support for the passage of ordinance considering that they have become a commonplace mode of transportation in the city.

"There is a compelling need for the city government to intervene in the blatant operation of habal-habal as public transport in many areas in the city," said City Councilor Pastor Alcover Jr. who authored the proposed measure.

 Pardo Motorcycle Organization president Marwin Barabal told the council that there are habal-habal drivers who do not have licenses and their motorcycles are unregistered.

"Kami, mayta i-regulate para ma-okay na and dili mi dakopon kay mao ra 'ni among panginabuhian," he told the City Council.

Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, council presiding officer, took the chance to urge habal-habal drivers to help the police and the government in curbing the illegal drug trade since there are reports that a few of them are acting as couriers of illegal drugs.

Alcover said the main purpose of the ordinance is to regulate and organize these habal-habal drivers to prevent traffic congestion and in helping maintain peace and order.

"If this ordinance will be enacted, duna na gyuy systematic ug organized nga operation. Naay nag-operate nga dili registered motor. Kini nga concern ma-check nato if maghatag ta og special franchise nila kay kun ma-regulate na, mapugos pagtuman nga marehistro sila and makakuha sa lisensya," he said.

He also said that he would incorporate in the proposed measure a provision imposing color coding of the uniforms for habal-habal drivers from each barangays.

Capitol Site Barangay Councilman Expedito Villarin, said he would support the proposed measure if the City Council will consider his suggestions.

He said there should be a standard fare rate and an area in each barangay where habal-habal drivers would be stationed.

He said that in a small street of Barangay Capitol Site, for example, hundreds of habal-habal drivers who are from different neighboring barangays converge there.

"Concern sa barangay council kon ma-legalize, ma-minimize ang number sa habal-habal sa among barangay kay gamay kaayo ang lugar. Ang ikaduha, naay mga drivers mangayo og P100. Kun ma-legalize, naay standard nga plete. Naay taripa," Villarin said.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-7 Director Ahmed Cuizon, for his part, said his office is limited in terms of franchising jurisdiction to a minimum of four-wheel motorized vehicles, per guidelines approved by the Department of Transportation.

"The authority of LTFRB under Executive Order 202 to prescribe and regulate routes of service must be in accordance with the transport guidelines of the Department of Transportation," he said.

Cuizon said LTFRB has no direct jurisdiction over tricycles and motorcycles. Because of this, he requested the council to confer with the Department of Communication and Land Transportation Office on this.

City Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia, chairman of the council's committee on laws, ordinances and styling, concurred that the city should first ask the opinion of traffic agencies, to ensure that the proposed ordinance would not supersede national laws.

Republic Act 4136 (Land Transportation and Traffic Code) does not allow two-wheeled vehicles like motorcycles to be used as public transport. (FREEMAN)

CEBU CITY PUBLIC HEARING HABAL-HABALS
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