TALKS ON E-BIKES. Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) acting chair Don Artes (right), Land Transportation Office (LTO) Chief Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza II, and several other national and local government officials attend the discussions on having a unified regulation towards the use of e-bikes and other unregistered electronic vehicles nationwide, at the MMDA head office in Pasig City on Thursday (Feb. 15, 2024). Artes said the regulation is meant to control the proliferation of e-vehicles that have often been marketed by vendors as not requiring registration or license to operate. (Photo courtesy of MMDA)



MANILA – Several national government agencies and local government units (LGU) on Thursday began discussions on regulating the use of e-bikes and other unregistered electronic vehicles (e-vehicles) nationwide.

The meeting was held at the headquarters of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) between officials of the MMDA, Department of Transportation (DOTr), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and traffic heads of LGUs in the National Capital Region (NCR).

During the meeting, MMDA acting chair Don Artes said the proliferation of e-vehicles has become a “cause concern.

“The LGUs have laid down their concerns, existing ordinances, regulations, and programs concerning e-vehicles. These will be reconciled with the policies of the national government,” Artes said.

Vendors of e-vehicles, he said, often cite that, unlike regular motor vehicles, e-vehicles are neither required to be registered nor need a license to operate.

“When these e-vehicle users violate the law, how can we issue a traffic violation ticket if the users do not possess a license? We also cannot charge the vehicle owners because they are not registered,” he said.

In addition to being a “grave risk” to their drivers, other motorists, and pedestrians, he said e-vehicles also slow down the flow of traffic.

Many of their drivers have also been monitored to be minors, do not wear helmets or other protective gear, and some use their e-vehicles in the middle of highways.

“We will consolidate and harmonize all existing rules and regulations, as well as ongoing programs of the LGUs and even national government concerning e-vehicles to make it comprehensive. This will also cover not just Metro Manila but nationwide,” he said.

Metro Manila LGUs have been asked to submit a list of their ordinances regarding the regulation of e-vehicles, particularly those used for commercial purposes.

“We will take a second look at the suggestions of the LGUs and propose the appropriate measures to regulate the use of e-vehicles in major thoroughfares,” he said.

In addition, LTFRB chair Teofilo Guadiz III said e-trikes are also a concern of the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program (PUVMP) as these compete with legitimate PUVs in getting passengers.

“We are coordinating with the MMDA and LTO to apprehend these units that do not have franchises to operate as PUVs,” Guadiz said.

The meeting was led by Artes, Guadiz, LTO Chief Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza II, DOTr Undersecretary Jose Lim, and several other national and local government officials. (PNA)