A Study on Development of Local Public Transport Policy: The Case of Tricycles and “Habal-habal” in Davao City, Philippines


In developing countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, motorcycles are part of the essential mode of transportation.

In the case of the Philippines, motorcycle propelled public transport in the form of tricycles and/or “habal-habal”, also known in other countries as “motorcycle taxi” exists. The studyillustrates the history and policy approach on rationalizing the informal transport services at the national and local level in the case of tricycles and “habal-habal”.The Philippine planning and policy system has two levels: national and local. At the national level, the study describes the development of local transport policy by integrating national policies (Land Transportation and Traffic Code, Public Service Act and the Local Government Code of 1991) and responses to related issues (congestion, etc) in devolving the government’s regulatory policy approach to the presence of tricycles. The study also illustrates the role of national transport related policies in the emergence of informal public transport such as “habal-habal” and open-can tricycles. Davao City, as a new and highly urbanizing area in the region of Mindanao was chosen as study site since it has a wide variation of motorcycle-propelled public transportation.

Tricycles in the Philippines is legally classified as motor vehicle composed of a motorcycle fitted with a single wheel side- car or a motorcyclewith a two- wheel cab operated to render transport to a general public for a fee. In Davao City, it can be found in the form of side-cab, center-cab and open cab. The latter, due to safety reason is considered illegal. Moreover, an emerging mode in the form motorcycle taxi mode known as “habal-habal” can also be found. The studydescribed and classified the different types of motorcycle-propelled vehicles according to design, passenger loading capacity and legitimacy of operations. The local policy process review indicatesthat factors considered in policy development.

This involved the presence of national policy guidelines, experience from the implementation of previous local policy as well as public inputs amongothers. Likewise, the local policyon tricycles were reviewed and further segregated according to its consequences such as its effect in local government/income generation, transportation service level, safety, congestion and environment. The former showed the issues and gaps in policy implementation while the latter present the importance of relating policies to local urban transport planning and management as well as local needs.

The research could be read and downloaded from www.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp/SSE/degree/h15/200205193.pdf

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