By: Rodrigo S. Victoria

NAVAL, Biliran,– An official of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in this province disclosed that single motorcycle for hire known locally as “ habal-habal” operations is prohibited.

Habal-habal is a mode of transportation in remote and hard-to-reach areas in the country including here in Biliran province.

Grace M. Carcido, Transportation Regulations Officer (TRO) who is the Officer-In-Charge (OIC) of LTO-Naval District Office during the Kapihan sa PIA on Thursday, February 21, 2013 informed that the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) where LTO is an attached agency has already issued a memorandum clarifying the legality of the operation of habal-habal.

Carsido said that LTO through DOTC Assistant Secretary Anneli R. Lontoc has issued an unnumbered memorandum on July April 27, 2006 addressed to all regional directors and concerned LTO employees informing the strict implementation of the LTO laws, rules and regulations on the proliferation and operation of skylab or habal-habal as a form of public transport.

Asec. Lontoc’s memorandum enjoined the memorandum of the DOTC Assistant Secretary for Administrative and Legal Affairs Atty. Emmanuel Noel A. Cruz dated May 29, 2006 recommending that the applicable provisions of law as well as related rules and regulations be strictly implemented and that all appropriate action should be taken in order to stop and prohibit operation of skylab or habal-habal as a form of public transportation, Carsido added.

The lady LTO-Naval chief quoted the memorandum “that while it is true that skylab or habal-habal is very popular in hard-to-reach areas and sometimes a necessity because it reaches even the remotest places, tolerating and legalizing its operation will surely jeopardize public transport safety and will only give local officials an excuse for their failure to provide their constituents with decent roads.”

The DOTC memorandum regarding the operation of skylab or habal-habal was issued in connection with resolution number 2005-5-135 passed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Sarangani that tolerates a mode of transportation which is unsafe and outmoded for purposes of transporting passengers for a fee and as a possible source of local revenue, she said.
Carsido noted that the resolution from the province of Sarangani also seeks to amend Section 7 (c) of Republic Act 4136 or otherwise known as the Land Transportation and Traffic Code. (PIA 8 Biliran)

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