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MMDA to dismantle habal-habal terminals

Alvin Murcia

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The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is hell-bent on putting an end to all illegal motor taxis, more popularly known as habal-habal, by dismantling their terminals throughout Metro Manila.

MMDA spokesman Celine Piolago yesterday gave assurances the agency has intensified its campaign in clearing all major road obstructions, which include apprehending colorum motor taxis and deconstructing their terminals at the same time.

The MMDA official revealed that habal-habal drivers operate by setting up their terminals within private establishments where they can pick their patrons or passengers.

She said they will send letters to the owners of various establishments to inform them that allowing their property to be used as terminal is illegal and a violation of the law.

“Most of the terminals of these colorum motor taxis are located in private establishments. We will send them letters informing that it is a form of illegal terminal and should be stopped,” Piolago said.

Earlier, traffic enforcers of the agency have strengthened their measures against illegal habal-habal operations in different parts of Metro Manila as the agency moves forward with its data gathering on Angkas, JoyRide and Move It, the only companies authorized to participate in the ongoing motorcycle-taxi pilot test run.

Patrons of the three companies were told to strictly observe traffic rules and regulations and not utilize habal-habal for their own safety.

The technical working group (TWG), formed by the Department of Transportation (DoTr) to oversee the pilot run and collate the master list of accredited riders in the experimental scheme, include the MMDA, Land Transportation Office, Philippine National Police–Highway Patrol Group and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

Government authorities estimated that there are about 200,000 habal-habal riders in Metro Manila alone, prompting them to focus their operations on the habal-habal terminals.

The total number of accredited riders allowed to participate in the pilot run is 63,000, covering operations in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu and Cagayan de Oro City.

The MMDA’s jurisdiction is limited to Metro Manila, where 15,000 riders are allotted for each of the three authorized motorcycle-taxi companies for a total of 45,000 vehicles.

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