Sunday, June 16, 2019

‘Brief respite’ for Cebu habal-habal

THE Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7 and the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) 7 will soon conduct joint operations against Angkas and other motorcycle-for-hire drivers.

This decision was reached after the Supreme Court issued last Dec. 12 a temporary restraining order against a Mandaluyong court ruling that prohibited law enforcers from apprehending Angkas drivers.

The Department of Transportation and the LTFRB obtained the TRO after arguing that under Republic Act 4136, motorcycles are not allowed to offer public transport.

LTO 7 Regional Director Victor Caindec said they have not started their operations as they have yet to set the guidelines.

LTFRB 7 Director Eduardo Montealto said they will probably start apprehending drivers next week with the help of Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-Act) members.

Caindec, however, said they might not tap the I-Act 7, where he is the appointed chairman, as it has several member-agencies. The official said the LTO 7, LTFRB 7 and HPG 7 have a task force that goes after unregistered passenger vehicles.

Meanwhile, the LTFRB passed last Dec. 12 a resolution during its special session mandating the LTO, the Metro Manila Development Authority, the HPG, the I-Act and other law enforcement units to impound motorcycles used by Angkas drivers in ferrying passengers.

LTO will issue the temporary operator’s permit, while the LTFRB will impound the motorcycles.

Montealto denied a social media post stating that Angkas was given provisional authority to operate in Cebu.

He also said it is unlawful for the Cebu City Government to create a system akin to Angkas, the ride-hailing app that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store using an android phone.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, Dec. 15, the “spot amnesty” announced by Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña on Dec. 13 will be given to owners of motorcycles that were impounded for counterflowing. Their vehicles will only be released if they have no pending traffic violations.

Osmeña authorized the release of the impounded motorcycles after recognizing that without Angkas, many people would lose their means of transportation.

As of October, 559 motorcycles were brought to the city’s impounding area in the South Road Properties. A motorist must attend a seminar on traffic rules at the Cebu City Traffic Operations office and take a test before he can get his motorcycle back.

William Naba, 39, found out about the “amnesty” after reading the news on Facebook. He is looking forward to driving to work on his motorcycle again. From PAC of Superbalita Cebu, Kiziah Marie Suello & Jolissa Mae Taboada, USJ-R Interns / KAL


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