Representative Pedro B. Acharon, Jr. of the 1st Districtu of South Cotabato filed House Bill 39 seeking the regulation the proliferation of habal-habals or motorcycles-for-hire in a desire to protect both their drivers and the riding public.

Acharon who is in his first term in the Lower House named it as “Motorcycles-For-Hire Act of 2010” which grants local government units the power to regulate these vehicles.

In an interview, the neophyte congressman said that habal-habals are prevalent in many areas in the country and in some, it is the only mode of transportation.  These however are not registered and thus, their business operations are considered illegal and are not covered by insurance, he added.

“The proliferation of motorbikes-for-hire to transport passengers or goods is detrimental to the riding public because no one can claim any insurance benefit in case of accidents, ” the congressman from General Santos City said.

“The only way is by regulating their business operations to give them the chance to register their vehicles as public transport and thus, are governed by the law on common carrier.”

Under the bill, the LGU shall receive, process and evaluate all applications for the grant of franchise to operate “motorcycles-for-hire” within their territories.

Applications which pass all the requirements shall be endorsed to the local councils for issuance of franchise and a “”for hire” license plate.

Registered Habal-habals however are not allowed to operate, except to cross, along the national highway or on any road allowing a maximum speed greater than 40 kilometers per hour. Any LGU with jurisdiction over the roads can control and designate the routes.

P5,000 shall be meted the owner who fails to register the motorcycle-for-hire as a FINE and his motorcycle impounded unless it gets registered. (Based on a  report from congress.gov.ph)

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