Labella backs CCTO on ban of scooters
Mary Ruth R. Malinao (The Freeman) - September 26, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella is standing by the decision of Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) to ban electric or gas-powered scooters on the city’s major thoroughfares despite oppositions.

 Labella said the decision was based on local ordinance and order from the Land Transportation Office.

"We have to follow it. Besides, it's really dangerous. It's an accident waiting to happen if we allow them to pass through the main thoroughfares," said Labella.

However, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has yet to finalize the guidelines on the use of those kinds of vehicle.

“Subay sa kamandu-an sa LTO nga ipadakop ang e-scooter og katong adunay makina nga below 50cc nga gadagan sa kadalanan. Article 4 of Section 7 sa atong Ordinansa sa Syudad sa Sugbo nga gadili sa maong mga sakyanan nga makadagan sa kadalanan sa syudad. Among giawhag ang mga nanag-iya niini nga dili gamiton sa kadalanan sa Syudad sa Sugbo,” CCTO’s public advisory reads.

CCTO spokesperson John Paul Amores said the ban on e-scooters takes effect immediately. The mayor, however, clarified that operation of e-scooters may be allowed on barangay roads and in private villages.

"I think there is no problem with that, but not in the main thoroughfares," said Labella.

"Safety is very important... We even require vehicles to register so that they will be properly monitored," he added.

Regulation not ban

For Vice Mayor Michael Rama, e-scooters should be regulated instead of banning them on city roads. He said these can be allowed to operate in the designated bike lanes.

As far as the City Council is concerned, Rama said he has tasked Councilor Joel Garganera to look into it.

Earlier, Garganera expressed disappointment on the decision of CCTO. He described it as untimely considering that e-scooters has been used as alternative means of transportation, especially by frontliners, during this time of COVID-19 pandemic.

Although Rama admitted that safety concerns should also be considered.

“It’s something that should not also be ignored because e-scooters also occupy the road. Good enough, nasugnan na ang bike lane, it is where aptly they should be,” he said.

Meanwhile, Labella said consultations with the stakeholders and experts on transportation will be made as part of the assessment on bike lane’s impact to traffic.

"In fact naa man ta'y ad hoc committee aning bike to continue with evaluation because we cannot just evaluate without putting some kind of an experimental area, mura’g pilot, so that we will know the traffic impact," said Labella.

"While we have established that, we will continue evaluation and observation and monitoring so that we will find out on how we could best implement the bike lane in the city," he added.

The mayor said one of the things that they have to look into is to ensure that bike lanes will not be abused or used by other kind types of vehicle.

"It should be only devoted to bicycles because bicycles do not have an engine, and of course the movement is not as those with engines. We have to see to it nga dili masagulan," said Labella.

The city government, through CCTO, has started painting the bike lanes green as part of the efforts to fulfill its promise months ago -- the establishment of bike lanes in its streets. — Caecent No-ot Magsumbol, FPL (FREEMAN)

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