Cebu News

Councilors ask CCTO: Review e-scooter ban

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman
Councilors ask CCTO: Review e-scooter ban
Frontliners are among those heavily affected by the Cebu City government’s ban on e-scooters on major city roads.

CEBU, Philippines —  A group of Cebu City councilors has called on the Cebu City Traffic Office to reconsider the prohibition of e-scooters on the city’s main thoroughfares.

Instead of total prohibition, Councilors Joel Garganera, Donaldo Hontiveros and Renato Osmeña Jr. are pushing for the regulation of such mode of transportation.

Garganera, in a privilege speech delivered before the City Council yesterday, said the e-scooter represents the Cebuano community’s continued struggle to have access to transportation while working amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CCTO has prohibited the use of e-scooters saying they can only be used in the barangay roads. Mayor Edgardo Labella reportedly supports the traffic office’s call.

Labella, however, later said he will be creating an ad hoc committee for bike lanes led by lawyer Gerry Carillo to address the regulation on the use of e-scooters.

CCTO said its stand is based on a city ordinance that prohibits the use of coasters, roller skates, and similar devices in roadways.

The measure states that “no person upon roller skates, or riding in or by means of any coasters, toy vehicle or similar device, shall go upon any roadway except while crossing a street.”

But Garganera protested.

“Mind you, the said Traffic Code was enacted in the 1970s — long before it was within the foresight of our former legislators that innovation and technology will lead us towards the era of electric bikes and scooters. Nonetheless in 2014, the 13th Sangguniang Panlungsod enacted an Ordinance designating a bike lane in the City of Cebu and establishing for its traffic rules are regulations thereof,” he said.

In that bike lane ordinance, the term “electric bicycles” was first introduced in legislation to form part in the term “bike or bicycles” that paved the way to legislation of other modes of transportation other than motor vehicles and motor scooters.

“However, I respectfully believe that the interpretation of the CCTO prohibiting the use of e-scooters is misplaced. E-scooters, by its nature, is actually unique. It cannot be fully considered as an e-bike, due to the absence of a seat or a saddle, but it cannot also be considered as a coaster or commonly known as skateboards, as it is motorized and powered by electricity. Rather, it can be considered as a class of its own,” added Garganera.

Garganera said he favors e-scooters’ regulation rather than their outright prohibition.

“First of all, we must look at this issue in the context of this pandemic. Why are these individuals, especially frontliners and essential workers, resorting to the use of other means of transportation such as e-scooters? After having been under community quarantine for months, it is a fact that there is no public transportation available. We may have provided buses, but not everyone could catch the schedule,” he said.

With this, e-scooters have provided frontliners and essential workers enough room to manage their schedule and less exhaustion as well as savings, and contribution to a better environment, he added.

Garganera also noted that even in Metro Manila, particularly in San Juan City, there is a designated bike and e-scooter lane. He said Baguio City policemen are also using them for their work while DOST has turned over some e-scooters to Cauayan for LGU’s use.

Moreover, LTO and the DOTr have also been working on providing for the traffic rules and regulations concerning not only e-bikes but also e-scooters, he said.

“Surely, with appropriate suggested regulation that the CCTO can present to this Council, we can ensure the safety of our constituents while providing them with more options in transportation. I, myself, am a fan of e-scooters because it is affordable, convenient, and environment friendly. I have been using it when I travel to and from work. Its environment-friendly because it does not emit any smoke and it is also free from noise pollution. This is one car less in the streets since it somehow addresses decongestion in traffic. And when it comes to safety, compared to motorbikes, a person using a scooter can easily be spotted on the road,” said Garganera.

Councilor Alvin Dizon expressed support to Garganera, Hontiveros and Osmena’s call saying the rule is anti-poor, anti-environment and a suppression of the right to use the road.

Since CCTO has prohibited e-scooters on the main roads, a number of violators have already been apprehended. Some are hoping that the city define which road they can use in particular while the issue is yet to be resolved to avoid frontliners and essential workers from engaging in a “cat-and-mouse chase with CCTO.” — JMD (FREEMAN)

vuukle comment


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with