THE Land Transportation Office (LTO) will seize electric bikes (e-bikes) that ply government roads as these are not registered, and anyone who figures in an accident would not be covered by insurance.

LTO 7 Director Victor Emmanuel Caindec said Thursday, July 18, 2019, his office will stop the illegal operation of e-bikes in public places before these would increase in number like the habal-habal (motor taxi) and trisikads and become unmanageable.

Units will be impounded and a P7,000 penalty will be imposed.

He said there are more than 200 e-bikes running in city streets without registration and insurance.

Caindec said it is sad that e-bikes have been purchased by individuals at the price of some P16,000 per unit and owners use them everywhere.

“If these e-bikes will meet an accident on the road, there is no insurance to cover the victim and probably the drivers have no license,” Caindec said.

He added that owners use e-bikes for several purposes, by attaching a sidecar to ferry passengers or using the three-wheeled units for personal utility or like any other vehicle. “These are running on government roads, including major thoroughfares without LTO registration, hence, illegal and subject to apprehension and penalty,” Caindec said.

He said the LTO may register these e-bikes as vehicles if the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will make a specification and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will issue a clearance.

When sought for comment, DTI 7 Director Asteria Caberte said she understands that e-bikes are not registered with the LTO because they are not supposed to be used in thoroughfares.

“For those assembled in the Philippines, a Board of Investment (BOI) accreditation/registration is required before it can be registered with the LTO,” Caberte said.

Caberte said she was informed by BOI that while e-jeeps can be registered with the LTO, they are still waiting for the position paper of the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines before they will act on the matter. (EOB)