By Dhel Nazario
The “habal-habal” or motorcycle for hire, chosen by commuters in a rush to avoid the unresolved heavy traffic in Metro Manila, will be apprehended by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) beginning Thursday.
MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said the agency was tapped by Antonio Gardiola Jr., chairman of the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) technical working group (TWG) conducting a pilot study on motorcycle taxis, to help them in the matter of illegal rides for hire.
The MMDA will be utilizing its manpower on the ground to check if riders are not included in the master list of participants from the three motorcycle ride-hailing apps — Angkas, Joy Ride, and Move It — that are included in the pilot study.
“Other ride-hailing apps like Sampa, Kandong, etc. …are not permitted to operate and therefore are all illegal. We will also be on the lookout against habal-habal riders and terminals,” Garcia said.
The ride-hailing apps still remain the optimal choice for those in a hurry, except on occasions where booking a ride takes too much time. Passengers are then forced to ride habal-habals in order to arrive at their appointments on time.
The MMDA urged the public to help government enforcers report the locations of habal-habal terminals and report them to the MMDA through their social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.
As for the procedures of apprehension, Garcia said traffic enforcers would check the driver’s license and verify the names on the master list. Those not included in the list shall receive a citation ticket.
Gardiola has turned over the master list which will be used as the traffic enforcers’ basis of apprehension.
“Names of riders not included in the master list will be apprehended as colorum (illegal) and their motorcycle units will be impounded. Let us not abuse the government and make sure that riders are all legitimate,” Garcia said.