Villafuerte seeks to legalize motorbikes for hire as PUVs

October 29, 2019

A HOUSE leader on Tuesday said transport authorities should legalize the services of motorcycles-for-hire as public utility vehicles (PUV), and put in place measures to ensure the safety of their passengers amid the increasing popularity of ride-hailing services like Angkas.

In filing House Bill (HB) 4652, Deputy Speaker and Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte said the first order of business for the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is to require motorcycle service providers to obtain insurance coverage for their drivers and their passengers as well as insurance to cover third-party liabilities.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr), in turn, is mandated  to prescribe the routes and require the establishment of terminals for these motorcycles, Villafuerte said.

“Number one priority in transporting people is the safety and welfare of the passengers and the driver. In welcoming a new age of public transportation, this bill seeks to set the groundwork to make motorcycles safe and secure for the riding public and the operators,” said Villafuerte, who represents Camarines Sur’s second district in the House of Representatives.

He said his proposal “would start the framework for quality assurance among motorcycles for hire, give commuters an alternative for a mode of transportation and ensure a safe ride for everyone.”

HB 4652 aims to amend Section 3 and 7 of Republic Act (RA) No. 4136 to include motorcycle-for-hire in the definition of terms and in the classification of vehicles that would be required for registration with the LTFRB.

It aims to recognize motorcycles for hire, or Habal-habal or motorcycle taxis, as a legitimate mode of public transportation in the country, Villafuerte said.

Motorcycles-for-hire currently operate in Metro Manila, Cebu and the cities of  General Santos and Cagayan de Oro.

The LTFRB and the Land Transportation Authority (LTO) are tasked to ensure the roadworthiness of motorcycles-for-hire before registration or renewal of registration.

“To further ensure safety, no modifications shall be made on motorcycles-for-hire, except the installation, based on safe engineering design specifications of motorcycle luggage carrier, saddlebag, step board or foot peg and appropriate speed limiter and monitoring device,” the bill stated.

HB 4652 tasks the LTFRB to “prescribe, approve and periodically review and adjust” reasonable fares, rates, and other related charges for the operation of motorcycles for hire.

“The LTFRB may allow motorcycles-for-hire to choose and use online ride-hailing platforms or pre-arranged transportation platforms, accredited by the proper government agency under the applicable laws and rules and regulations:  Provided, that such online ride-hailing platforms or pre-arranged transportation platforms shall provide a fare estimator that enables users to estimate the cost of a trip, and issue an electronic receipt afterwards,” HB 4652 said.