Ex-Speaker proposes club membership for motorcycle registration, license

Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 09 2022 09:31 PM

Motorcycle riders build up on the heavily congested traffic in EDSA in Makati City on February 24, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
Motorcycle riders build up on the heavily congested traffic in EDSA in Makati City on February 24, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Motorcycle riders or those planning to ride one need to join a club or an association of bikers if House Bill 32 or the proposed "Motorcycle Safety Riding Act" gets passed into law.

Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, filed the proposed measure to reduce road crashes and motorcycles-related crimes.

Under the bill, one needs to join an LTO-accredited bikers' group and secure a membership certificate. This will be one of the requirements when applying for a driver's license to ride a motorcycle or renew the bike's registration. 

It also prohibits one from owning or riding a motorcycle if one is not a club or organization member. Motorcycle groups will spearhead road safety education or training for their members.

The penalty for violating this rule ranges from P10,000 to P30,000.

HB32

The proposed bill has not undergone hearings yet, but has already met oppositions this early.

One of the biggest motorcycle groups in the country, the Motorcycle Rights Organization, has raised the red flag on the bill, questioning the intent of the policy. 

They said it could be a haven for opportunists to turn motorcycle groups into a money-making scheme.

"We already have the LTO Comprehensive Driving Education test. Why pass it on the private sector, the clubs, and the organizations? It took our organization years ,a lot of learning, years to learn in order for us to learn rider rights. How can you make that an overnight thing with this bill? Some of the groups will show interest in this and will grab the opportunity to turn this into a business," Jobert Bolanos, chairperson of Motorcycle Rights Organization, said.

"But the thing is, if you want to teach road safety, proper handling driving and such, you can apply as a school which is the legal way of doing it." 

The Land Transportation Office disagrees with the proposed bill, too. 

“Mahihirapan po akong suportahan 'yan. Sa pananaw ko po na, that would be something a class legislation po 'yan. Bakit kailangan mo maging miyembro ng isang asosasyon? Papaano naman po yung sa probinsya? I came from Region 1. Marami ang nasa may-ari ng motorsiklo ay mga taga-liblib na mga taga-baryo. Anong asosasyon po ang kanilang itatayo? So I will, for me ho, that is not a wise legislation po,” LTO Asec. Teofilo Guadiz III said.

The LTO said it is in talks with various driving schools to make seminars more affordable and shorter.

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