1,500 habal-habal drivers hold unity ride, noise barrage

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AN ESTIMATED 1,500 owners of motorcycles participated in a unity ride and noise barrage in support of the #BuhayKoMotorKo campaign on Thursday morning, Feb. 18, 2021.

The participants belong to the Cebu City Habal-Habal Drivers Association.

They called the attention of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee headed by Sen. Richard Gordon, who initiated the investigation on the alleged anomalies of dealers after they were charged with violating Republic Act 11235, or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, by Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7 Director Victor Caindec.

Caindec filed a separate charge against the dealers for alleged tax evasion before the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

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The group’s complaints included the late release of the certificate of registration (CR) or original registration and the repossession of motorcycles after their owners missed the monthly payment at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Raul Guerrero, a motorcycle taxi driver, pointed out a provision of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act that directed motorcycle dealers to implement a grace period for the payment of all loans falling due while the enhanced community quarantine was in effect.

Another motorcycle taxi driver, Arnel Caburnay, said he knows of five colleagues whose motorcycles were repossessed because they failed to pay the monthly amortization.

Meanwhile, Roy Acoymo said he has yet to receive the CR for his unit, which he had purchased almost five years ago.

Group members also criticized the dealers’ alleged practice of making them wait two to three months before releasing the motorcycle’s registration.

They said the dealers blamed the LTO 7 for the delay only to learn that the whole process takes seven days if all the documents are in place.

They called on the LTO 7 to implement RA 11235 and penalize erring dealers. (PAC / PJB)