The Habal-Habal continues to ply our streets, whether in metropolitan areas or the provinces. The legalization of Motorcycle Taxis is already being studied as we speak – since 2019, and the LTFRB wants to include this form of MC Taxi in the legalization. Joining the pilot run/studies and subsequently registering may benefit them more, according to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.
Regulation and training for Habal-Habal drivers
The pilot run and studies have been going on for the past 4 years. That came after Congress tasked the DOTr to look into the feasibility of Motorcycle Taxis and assess if they are safe and if they can, indeed, become legal forms of public transportation in the Philippines. The first runs were done in Metro Manila and Cebu.
Fast forward, the Motorcycle Taxi Technical Working Group (MC Taxi-TWG) is now calling on Habal-Habal operators to join the studies and later on register so their operations can be considered legal. It looks like the pilot run is nearing its end and with that, laws that will govern the operation of this type of public transport will be put in place. This call follows the advice of Senators Grace Poe and Raffy Tulfo. According to the (MC Taxi-TWG), registering Habal-Habal units will allow for proper monitoring and regulation as well as qualifying members for some benefits.
“Once they are part of the program, they will be regulated and will be trained in the aspects of proper operations, particularly in improving their driving skills through more advanced driver training once they become part of the program. That way, they can operate safely and securely, which will ultimately benefit the riding public,” said Atty. Paul Austria, Secretariat ng MC Taxi-TWG.
“We listened to the wisdom of the Senate and appreciate their inputs on how the public transportation system in the country can be further improved with the possible entry of MC taxis,” Austria later added.
As it stands, more recognized “brands” of Motorcycle Taxis that are part of the pilot run include the likes of Angkas, JoyRide, and Move It. The MC Taxi-TWG is considering widening the areas of the study, as well as having more riders and Transport Network Companies join in the effort.
The choice of many commuters to take the Habal-Habal is brought about by the need for quickness, convenience, and more economical costs. While they are very much illegal, we cannot simply fault the commuting public for an apparent lack of options. 4 years is a long time; granted that we got hit with a global crisis, but the needs of the hundreds if not thousands of commuters must take a high priority in the government’s talks.
Let’s see how this ultimately plays out.