MANILA -- A bill was filed in the Senate to legalize motorcycle taxis, which is growing increasingly popular in Metro Manila's traffic-choked streets, its author said Thursday.
Under the proposed Land Transportation and Traffic Code, motorcycles will be classified as vehicles for hire, instead of being limited to private or government use.
"The demand for this service simply cannot be ignored," Senator Sonny Angara said of the measure which was filed last September.
Commuters choose "habal" or motorcycles because they are cheaper compared to Grab cars and taxis, Angara said.
Legalizing motorcycle taxis will also ensure that safety measures are in place, he said.
A similar measure was filed at the House of Representatives in January 2019. The House Committee on Metro Manila Development has urged the Department of Transportation to craft an order regulating motorcycle taxis while Congress is still working on the bill's passage.
About half of the 5 million registered motorcycles in the Philippines are used for livelihood, said Angeline Tham, chief executive officer of Angkas, the country's largest motorcycle taxi-hailing platform.