Cebu City mayor to organize 6,000 habal-habal drivers

QUICK RIDE. Habal-habal or motorcycle taxis are now seen as a practical solution to beat heavy traffic in Cebu City, but the recklessness of some of the drivers has worried drivers of four-wheeled vehicles and even habal-habal passengers themselves. (SunStar photo/Amper Campaña)

THE Cebu City Government will now start working on programs to organize around 6,000 habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) drivers in some of the barangays.

Mayor Tomas Osmeña has tasked Kasambagan Barangay Captain and Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) President Franklin Ong to oversee the matter since the ex-officio Council member has experience in organizing habal-habal drivers.

Councilor Raymond Garcia hopes, though, that the initiative is not a political move.

“It’s good to organize the habal-habal drivers, but for what purpose? If it’s for politics, then ayaw nalang. Gamiton ra ni sila for their selfish reasons. Maluoy pud ta nila (If it’s for politics, then never mind. The drivers will just be used for their selfish reasons. That’s a pity),” he said.

By organizing the habal-habal drivers, Ong said, they can be tapped for barangay intelligence networks and they can also help ease traffic in the barangay during peak hours.

Apart from it, they can be identified easily as security for the riding public.

Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) Operations Chief Francisco Ouano said that records from their office showed there are around 6,000 habal-habal drivers who operate in the 80 barangays.

“That’s the list we have so far and it might increase as we update our listing because we are getting the data in the barangays,” he said.

“We have already started talking to the motorcycle riders from four barangays to organize and orient them on the benefits and responsibilities once they are already part of the barangay habal-habal associations,” said Ong.

In Kasambagan, there are around 100 habal-habal drivers who are part of the organization.

Ong said they have started talking to the motorcycle riders from Lahug, Banilad, Apas and Mabolo, or the areas near I.T. Park where call center companies are located.

Most of the business process outsourcing employees avail themselves of the services of habal-habal.

He added that the program will empower the habla-habal drivers in the barangays.


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