House panel okays legalizing habal-habal

THERE'S a glimmer of hope for those advocating the conversion of the habal-habal (motorcycle-for-hire) into a legal mode of public transportation.

This, after the House committee on transportation approved a bill that would allow and regulate the use of motorcycles as public utility vehicles.

Cebu City Rep. Raul Del Mar (Cebu City, North), one of six authors of House Bill 6049, said he had asked the technical working group led by Buhay Partylist Rep. Michael Velarde Jr. to speed up the submission of the bill before the House committee on transportation led by Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento.

Following the bill’s approval at the committee level, Del Mar urged the committee secretary to make a report and have it endorsed before the House Committee on Rules on Monday, so it can be scheduled for plenary discussion on Tuesday, Jan. 29, and approved for second reading within the week.

Del Mar said they want the bill approved on third reading this month since Congress is set to adjourn on Feb. 6 with the campaign period for the May 2019 elections fast approaching.

“This is a very tight schedule, practically impossible, but we will try to do it,” Del Mar said.

Should the bill pass scrutiny before the Lower House just before Feb. 6, Del Mar said they still wouldn’t have time to transmit it to the Senate.

Del Mar is hoping the bill could be approved on May 22, when both the House of Representatives and the Senate resume work.

The Senate would have three weeks until June 7 to come up with its own version of HB 6049.

HB 6059’s other authors are Rep. Red Durano (Cebu, 5th), Bohol 3rd District Rep. Arthur Yap, South Cotabato First District Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr., Misamis Oriental 2nd District Rep. Juliet Uy and Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon.

If HB 6059 is not passed during the 17th Congress, it will have to be refiled once the members of the 18th Congress assume office in July.


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